An Integrative Approach to Quality of Life Measurement, Research, and Policy

Robert Costanza, Brendan Fisher, Saleem Ali, Caroline Beer, Lynne Bond, Roelof Boumans, Nicholas L. Danigelis, Jennifer Dickinson, Carolyn Elliott, Joshua Farley, Diane Elliott Gayer, Linda MacDonald Glenn, Thomas R. Hudspeth, Dennis F. Mahoney, Laurence McCahill, Barbara McIntosh, Brian Reed, S. Abu Turab Rizvi, Donna M. Rizzo, Thomas SimpaticoRobert Snapp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    While Quality of Life (QOL) has long been an explicit or implicit policy goal, adequate definition and measurement have been elusive. Diverse "objective" and "subjective" indicators across a range of disciplines and scales, and recent work on subjective well-being (SWB) surveys and the psychology of happiness have spurred renewed interest. Drawing from multiple disciplines, we present an integrative definition of QOL that combines measures of human needs with subjective well-being or happiness. QOL is proposed as a multiscale, multi-dimensional concept that contains interacting objective and subjective elements. We relate QOL to the opportunities that are provided to meet human needs in the forms of built, human, social and natural capital (in addition to time) and the policy options that are available to enhance these opportunities. Issues related to defining, measuring, and scaling these concepts are discussed, and a research agenda is elaborated. Policy implications include strategies for investing in opportunities to maximize QOL enhancement at the individual, community, and national scales.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-21
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    Dive into the research topics of 'An Integrative Approach to Quality of Life Measurement, Research, and Policy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this