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Happy Talk: Mode of Administration Effects on Subjective Well-Being

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  • Paul Dolan
  • Georgios Kavetsos

Abstract

Research on the measurement of subjective well-being (SWB) has escalated in recent years. This study contributes to the literature by examining how SWB reports differ by mode of survey administration. Using data from the 2011 Annual Population Survey in the UK, we find that individuals consistently report higher SWB over the phone compared to face-to-face interviews. We also show that the determinants of SWB differ significantly by survey mode. We must therefore account for mode of administration effects in research into SWB and its determinants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1159.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1159

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

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Keywords: subjective well-being; happiness; survey mode;

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  1. Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," NBER Working Papers 13027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2009. "Dissatisfied with Life, but Having a Good Day: Time-Use and Well-Being of the Unemployed," CESifo Working Paper Series 2604, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Nandi, Alita & Platt, Lucinda, 2011. "Effect of interview modes on measurement of identity," Understanding Society Working Paper Series, Understanding Society at the Institute for Social and Economic Research 2011-02, Understanding Society at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1087-1093, August.
  5. Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures," CEP Special Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  7. Paul Dolan & Daniel Kahneman, 2008. "Interpretations Of Utility And Their Implications For The Valuation Of Health," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 215-234, 01.
  8. Mark P. Taylor, 2006. "Tell me why I don't like Mondays: investigating day of the week effects on job satisfaction and psychological well-being," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(1), pages 127-142.
  9. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  10. Robert Breunig & Rebecca McKibbin, 2011. "The effect of survey design on household reporting of financial difficulty," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(4), pages 991-1005, October.
  11. Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring subjective well-being for public policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35420, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Paul Dolan & Tessa Peasgood, 2008. "Measuring Well-Being for Public Policy: Preferences or Experiences?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages S5-S31, 06.
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Cited by:
  1. Graham, Carol & Nikolova, Milena, 2013. "Does access to information technology make people happier? Insights from well-being surveys from around the world," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 126-139.
  2. Adrian Chadi, 2013. "Third Person Effects in Interview Responses on Life Satisfaction," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201307, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

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