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Some Like It Mild and Not Too Wet: The Influence of Weather on Subjective Well-Being

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  • Marie Connolly

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Abstract

More and more economists and politicians are advocating the use of comprehensive measures of well-being, on top of the usual national accounting measures, to assess the welfare of populations. Researchers using subjective well-being data should be aware of the potential biasing effects of the weather on their estimates. In this paper, the responsiveness of well-being to climate and transitory weather conditions is investigated by analyzing subjective well-being data collected in the Princeton Affect and Time Survey. General satisfaction questions about life in general, life at home, health and one’s job, as well as questions concerning feelings intensities during specific episodes are studied. Women are much more responsive than men to the weather, and life satisfaction decreases with the amount of rain on the day of the interview. Low temperatures increase happiness and reduce tiredness and stress, raising net affect, and high temperatures reduce happiness, consistent with the fact that the survey was conducted in the summer. Methods to reduce the possible biases are suggested in the conclusion. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 457-473

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:2:p:457-473

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Related research

Keywords: Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Happiness; Weather; Temperature; Precipitation;

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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Dowling, Michael & Lucey, Brian M., 2005. "Weather, biorhythms, beliefs and stock returns--Some preliminary Irish evidence," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 337-355.
  3. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, 06.
  4. William N. Goetzmann & Ning Zhu, 2004. "Rain or Shine: Where is the Weather Effect?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm28, Yale School of Management.
  5. Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  6. Alan B. Krueger & Daniel Kahneman & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur A. Stone, 2007. "National Time Accounting: The Currency of Life," Working Papers 1034, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    • Alan B. Krueger & Daniel Kahneman & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur A. Stone, 2009. "National Time Accounting: The Currency of Life," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations: National Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being, pages 9-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jordan Rappaport, 2004. "Moving to Nice Weather," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 188, Econometric Society.
  8. Saunders, Edward M, Jr, 1993. "Stock Prices and Wall Street Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1337-45, December.
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  10. Alan B. Krueger, 2009. "Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations: National Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krue08-1, October.
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  12. Marie Connolly, 2008. "Here Comes the Rain Again: Weather and the Intertemporal Substitution of Leisure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 73-100.
  13. Barrington-Leigh, Christopher P, 2008. "Weather as a transient influence on survey-reported satisfaction with life," MPRA Paper 25736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Geoffrey Heal & Jisung Park, 2014. "Feeling the Heat: Temperature, Physiology & the Wealth of Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 4673, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alan B. Krueger & Daniel Kahneman & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur A. Stone, 2008. "National Time Accounting: The Currency of Life," Working Papers 1061, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    • Alan B. Krueger & Daniel Kahneman & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur A. Stone, 2009. "National Time Accounting: The Currency of Life," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations: National Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being, pages 9-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Claudia Schmiedeberg & Jette Schröder, 2014. "Does Weather Really Influence the Measurement of Life Satisfaction?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 117(2), pages 387-399, June.

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