Journal of Scientific Papers


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ISSN 2071-789X

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  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

  • Membership:

    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




Happiness and happiness inequality in Azerbaijan: Results with the single-item and multiple-item constructs

Vol. 16, No 4, 2023

Khatai Aliyev


Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC), Baku, Azerbaijan.


ORCID 0000-0001-8161-6269


Happiness and happiness inequality in Azerbaijan: Results with the single-item and multiple-item constructs




Abstract. This paper compares the performance of the single-item (a 1-10 scale) and multiple-item constructs (Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), 5-item and 7-item life domain scales) employed to measure happiness and happiness inequality based on the same survey data. Using a cross-sectional dataset of 2208 respondents from Azerbaijan, the study examines the reliability and validity of each scale. Further, it discusses the scales’ predicted happiness and happiness inequality indicators within the aggregate sample and sub-samples of specific socio-demographic groups. The research results confirm the reliability and validity of multiple-item constructs. In fact, there is a strong positive correlation between all the examined constructs of happiness. Interestingly, the mean happiness predicted by the single-item, SWLS, 5-item, and 7-item life domain scales does not vary much. The mean happiness percentage of the highest score in each construct varies within [50.8%; 62.1%] for the aggregate sample. SWLS’s happiness prediction is lower than that of others by 7-11 percentage points, followed by the 5-item life domain scale and the single-item scale. The happiness prediction difference between the single-item construct and the 7-item life domain scale is negligible. In terms of predicting happiness inequality, the 7-item life domain scale displays the least dispersion as per both standard deviation and coefficient of variation indicators. Conversely, the single-item construct yields the largest variability. Research findings are consistent regardless of age groups, gender identity, educational attainment level, marital status, employment status, and residential area. The overall recommendation is to use a multiple-item life domains scale to measure happiness and happiness inequality in a society, as it offers a broader perspective for using happiness research findings in improving public policy efficiency.


Received: March, 2023

1st Revision: September, 2023

Accepted: December, 2023


DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2023/16-4/12

JEL ClassificationJ17, J18

Keywords: happiness, happiness inequality, life satisfaction, single-item construct, multiple-item construct, public policy