Quality of Life Comparison

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International comparisons on the quality of life are widely studied in management science. The first step in measuring the quality of life, or any subject for that matter, is to determine which categories/sub-categories your study will focus on. Of course the categories/sub-categories chosen should be relevant to the subject at hand. Once these variables are chosen and the data is gathered, it is left up to the individual researcher to determine the rankings of these variables and assign weights to each. This leads to subjective judgement and the likelihood that the gathered results will have large variations. Because of this, it is essential to use management science in order to obtain non-subjective judgement. Therefore, the mathematical approach conducted in our analysis relies on Pareto optimization which uses linear programming to improve efficiencies. What we observed through our analysis in using Pareto optimization is that any (additional) change made to make any country better off is impossible without making another country worse off.


Quality of life is a modern concept in the field of outcome measurement and has been passionately adopted by clinicians, researchers, economists and managers. The term “quality of life” was originally coined in the U.S. during the post-war period to describe the effect of material affluence (evidenced by the possession of cars, houses and other consumer goods) on people’s lives and was subsequently broadened to encompass education, health and welfare, economic and industrial growth, and defense of the “free world”. In socio-medical literature, quality of life has been equated with a variety of terms, including life satisfaction, self esteem, well-being, happiness, health, the value and meaning of life, functional status and adjustment. Although, there are many interpretations to the term, “quality of life”, the closest to any consensus definition is that it is an umbrella concept encompassing health states as well as satisfaction with a broader range of domains such as environment, economic resources, relationships, work and leisure time. Conceptual work in the social sciences has attempted to clarify the definition and has distinguished it from related themes such as life satisfaction, morale, happiness or anomie, but has nevertheless failed to provide an operational definition (Carr, 1996). According to ecological economist Robert Costanza, “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” (Costanza, 1). This renewed interest has sparked the creation of a number of indexes which have been designed to measure and compare the quality of life across countries. One of these new indexes has been developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which is the world leader in providing country, industry and management analysis. The EIU’s QOL index is based on exclusive methodology that links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys to the objective determinants of quality of life across countries. These subjective life-satisfaction surveys ask people simple questions such as how satisfied they are in their lives in general. Critics have argued that cultural, verbal and psychological differences among countries can distort the responses to these surveys and that these responses reflect the dominant view of life, rather than actual quality of life in a country. Life satisfaction is seen as a judgment that depends on socially and culturally specific frames of reference. But this relativism is disproved by the fact that people in different countries report similar criteria as being important for life satisfaction and that most differences in life satisfaction...
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