Pain at the pump: Gasoline prices and subjective well-being
AbstractIn recent years, there has been growing interest in the health implications of rising gasoline prices. This paper considers the impact of gasoline prices on subjective well-being, as captured by survey questions on happiness and life satisfaction. Using rich data from the DDB Worldwide Communications Life Style™ survey, we document a negative relationship between gasoline prices and self-reported life satisfaction over the period 1985–2005. The estimated reduction in well-being, moreover, is found to be nearly twice as large among groups of likely car owners. Interestingly, although rising gasoline prices lead to an immediate deterioration in subjective well-being, analyses of lagged prices suggest that well-being almost fully rebounds 1year later and changes very little each year thereafter. Our contemporaneous estimates imply that rising gasoline prices generate well-being losses comparable to faltering labor market conditions, and likely offset some of the physical health benefits found in previous research.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.
Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905
Gasoline prices; Subjective well-being; Happiness; Health;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
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- Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M. & Ifcher, John & Zarghamee, Homa, 2013. "The Earned Income Tax Credit, Health, and Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 7261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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