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08.10.2015 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 2-3/2015

The Annals of Regional Science 2-3/2015

Regional well-being indicators and dispersion from a multidimensional perspective: evidence from Italy

Zeitschrift:
The Annals of Regional Science > Ausgabe 2-3/2015
Autoren:
Antonella Rita Ferrara, Rosanna Nisticò
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00168-015-0704-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
We wish to thank Giovanni Anania, Michele Capriati, Sierdjan Koster, Philip McCann and Viktor Venhorst for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of the paper.
We would like to dedicate this article to the memory of Giovanni Anania.

Abstract

Interest in measuring well-being, as opposed to the more traditional economic indicators of growth, has increased significantly over recent years. This paper aims to contribute to the empirical literature on well-being indicators and dispersion across regions in terms of both quality of life and economic progress. Italian regions are used as case studies and 10 different multidimensional determinants of well-being are considered: culture and free time; education; employment; environment; availability of essential public services; health; material living conditions; personal security; research and innovation; and the strength of social relations. We calculated, by applying principal component analysis, synthetic indicators for each well-being determinant and for each region so as to generate—again, by means of the same methodology—an index of overall well-being. The study was conducted for every year over the period 2004–2010. Results clearly show that differences in well-being between regions are not necessarily in line with those based on per capita GDP, suggesting a need to give more attention to quality-of-life features of economic progress in public policy goals and design. Furthermore, the paper looked at dispersion across regions and regional rank mobility over the same period. Italian regions have tended to become more similar in terms of well-being over time, but no evidence of significant intra-distributional mobility emerges.

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