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Well-Being across America

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  • Andrew J. Oswald

    (IZA Research Institute and Department of Economics University of Warwick, U.K.)

  • Stephen Wu

    (Hamilton College)

Abstract

This paper uses Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to study life satisfaction and mental health across the geography of the United States. The analysis draws on a sample of 1.3 million citizens. Initially we control for people's personal characteristics (though not income). There is no correlation between states' regression-adjusted well-being and their GDP per capita. States like Louisiana, plus Washington, D.C., have high psychological well-being levels; California and West Virginia have low well-being. When we control for incomes, satisfaction with life is lower in richer states, just as compensating-differentials theory would predict. Nevertheless, some puzzles remain. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1118-1134

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:4:p:1118-1134

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Happiness in US states
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-12-14 15:01:40
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Cheng, Terence C. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Oswald, Andrew J., 2014. "Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well-being: Results from Four Data Sets," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 187, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Temple, Jonathan, 2013. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Proto, Eugenio & Oswald, Andrew J., 2014. "National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration," IZA Discussion Papers 8300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Maren M. Michaelsen, 2012. "Mental Health and Labour Supply – Evidence from Mexico‘s Ongoing Violent Conflicts," Ruhr Economic Papers, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen 0378, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jason Abrevaya, 2011. ""Beauty Is the Promise of Happiness"?," NBER Working Papers 17327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mark D., Partridge & Dan S., Rickman & M. Rose, Olfert & Kamar, Ali, 2010. "Dwindling U.S. Internal Migration: Evidence of Spatial Equilibrium?," MPRA Paper 28157, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Barbara Dluhosch & Daniel Horgos, 2013. "Trading Up the Happiness Ladder," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 973-990, September.
  9. Rickman, Dan S., 2014. "Assessing Regional Quality of Life: A Call for Action in Regional Science," MPRA Paper 58109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S. & Olfert, M. Rose & Tan, Ying, 2012. "When spatial equilibrium fails: is place-based policy second best?," MPRA Paper 40270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Yakovlev, Pavel & Leguizamon, Susane, 2012. "Ignorance is not bliss: On the role of education in subjective well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 806-815.

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