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Well-Being over the Life Span: Semiparametric Evidence from British and German Longitudinal Data

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Author Info

  • Christoph Wunder

    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Andrea Wiencierz

    (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich)

  • Johannes Schwarze

    (University of Bamberg, DIW Berlin, and IZA Bonn)

  • Helmut Küchenhoff

    (Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität Munich)

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    Abstract

    This paper applies semiparametric regression models using penalized splines to investigate the profile of well-being over the life span. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), the analysis shows a common, and quite similar, age-specific pattern of life satisfaction for both Britain and Germany that can be characterized by three age stages. The evidence suggests that the U-shaped profile is a good approximation of decreasing and increasing well-being in the first and second stage. After people reached their late 60s, however, a decline in well-being is found in the third stage. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00222
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 154-167

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    Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:1:p:154-167

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    Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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    Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

    Related research

    Keywords: subjective well-being; life satisfaction; semiparametric regression; penalized splines;

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    Cited by:
    1. Chadi, Adrian, 2013. "The role of interviewer encounters in panel responses on life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 550-554.
    2. Felix, FitzRoy & Michael, Nolan & Max, Steinhardt & David, Ulph, 2013. "Testing the Tunnel Effect: Comparison, Age and Happiness in UK and German Panels," SIRE Discussion Papers, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) 2013-29, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    3. Christian Pfeifer, 2013. "Life satisfaction and the consumption values of partners and friends: Empirical evidence from German panel survey data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 3131-3142.
    4. Cheng, Terence Chai & Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Oswald, Andrew J., 2014. "Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well-being: Results from Four Data Sets," IZA Discussion Papers 7942, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Adrian Chadi, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," IAAEU Discussion Papers, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) 201403, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    6. Wunder, Christoph & Heineck, Guido, 2012. "Working time preferences, hours mismatch and well-being of couples: Are there spillovers?," BERG Working Paper Series, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group 85, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.

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