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A Step towards Valuing Utility the Marginal and Cardinal Way

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Author Info

  • Paul Dolan
  • Daniel Fujiwara
  • Robert Metcalfe

Abstract

Income has a direct impact on our utility as well as an indirect impact through the goods, services and life events it allows us to purchase. The indirect effect of income is not properly accounted for in existing research that uses measures of cardinal utility for economic analysis. We propose a new approach for appropriately attributing the full effects of income on utility and we show the implications of our approach using a longitudinal dataset that contains reports of subjective wellbeing (SWB). We show that income has a much greater effect on SWB when indirect effects are considered. These results have important implications for how we value the marginal benefits of non-market goods and we explore some of these issues in the paper

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1062.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1062.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1062

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: subjective well-being; utility; happiness; multicollinearity; income; non-market goods;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Beja Jr, Edsel, 2012. "Who is happier: Housewife or working wife?," MPRA Paper 40533, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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