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Where Should I Live?

By Taylor Marvin

Via Marginal Revolution, the OECD has a fun tool that allows you to rank member countries by how well they score on the specific quality-of-life measures you value. According to my preferences, I should move to either Australia, Sweden, or New Zealand and avoid Chile, Mexico and Turkey. Interesting. I feel like the OECD should have also included weather in their rankings, which likely has a significant effect on personal well-being, especially for immigrants. Most southern Californians would have trouble living in most of Scandinavia, no matter how good Norway’s governance and average income levels are.

It’d also be interesting to see what topics respondents from different member-countries place the most value on, and if these preferences match overall national rankings. Though Canada ranks the highest in the housing topic, do Canadians actually value home-ownership and large houses more than other nationalities? Preferences vary across societies, but awareness of what quality-of-life traits national populations tend to derive the most utility from would be an important tool for public policymakers. Of course there’s a selection bias here, but determining whether Sweden rankest highest on the environment measure because Swedes value a clean environment more than other countries or because of Sweden’s small population and service-based economy is still an interesting question.

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