Policy makers don't understand what contributes to people's wellbeing

A study of citizen's in Addis Abbaba found factors influencing well being are held in common with developed nations, including:

  • married people are more satisfied with life than unmarried and divorced people.
  • Women are happier than men.
  • Health,
  • consumption per capita,
  • the possibility of being able to raise the money to cope with an emergency situation in a week and
  • belief that one's own standard of living can be improved over the next few years
  • environmental quality and sewage management 

When 63 policymakers were asked to guess what influences citizens' well-being, to a large extent they guessed both wrongly and heterogeneously.  Despite a clean environment having been shown to be important to the citizens' well-being, they gave such measures lowest priority.