This article summarises recent empirical research on the determinants of subjective well‐being. Results from national and international samples suggest that measures of social capital, including especially the corollary measures of specific and general trust, have substantial effects on well‐being beyond those flowing through economic channels. Cross‐national samples (supported by parallel analysis of suicide data) show large well‐being effects from the quality of government. Finally, using well‐being data to estimate the income‐equivalents non‐financial aspects of the workplace produces numbers so large as to suggest the existence of unexploited opportunities to improve both employee satisfaction and enterprise efficiency.
Helliwell, J. F. (2006). Well‐being, social capital and public policy: what’s new?. The Economic Journal, 116(510), C34-C45.