Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Moving Up and Sliding Down: An Empirical Assessment of the Effect of Social Mobility on Subjective Wellbeing

Contents:

Author Info

  • Paul Dolan
  • Grace Lordan

Abstract

Many people remain in the same income group as their parents and this is a cause of much discussion and some concern. In this work, we examine how intergenerational mobility affects subjective wellbeing (SWB) using the British Cohort Study. Our SWB measures encapsulate life satisfaction and mental health. We find that relative income mobility is a significant predictor of life satisfaction and mental health whether people move upward or downward. For absolute income, mobility is only a predictor of SWB and mental health outcomes if the person moves downward. We also explore pathways through which income mobility can impact on these outcomes. In particular, we present evidence that suggests much of the effect of income mobility on SWB is due to changes in the perception of financial security. But those who slide down are still less satisfied with their lives over and above any effect of financial insecurity. Overall, there is an asymmetric effect of income mobility: the losses of sliding on down are larger than the gains of moving up.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1190.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1190.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1190

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

Related research

Keywords: income mobility; social mobility; inter-generational; life satisfaction; SWB; subjective wellbeing; mental health;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
  2. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
  4. Bruce Hollingsworth & Anthony Scott & Lucy Bechtel & Grace Lordan & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2012. "Income Inequality And Mental Health—Empirical Evidence From Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21, pages 4-17, 06.
  5. Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2002. "Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe," IBES Diskussionsbeiträge 120, University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty for Economics and Business Administration.
  6. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  7. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  8. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  9. Dolan, Paul & Metcalfe, Robert, 2012. "The relationship between innovation and subjective wellbeing," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1489-1498.
  10. John Knight & Lina Song, 2007. "Subjective Well-being and its Determinants in Rural China," Economics Series Working Papers 334, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Bowman, David & Minehart, Deborah & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Loss aversion in a consumption-savings model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 155-178, February.
  12. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey MacMillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," School of Economics Discussion Papers, School of Economics, University of Surrey 0307, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  13. Rafael Di Tella & John Haisken-De New & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness Adaptation to Income and to Status in an Individual Panel," NBER Working Papers 13159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Intergenerational Mobility and Marital Sorting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 659-679, 07.
  15. Shea, John, 1995. "Union Contracts and the Life-Cycle/Permanent-Income Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 186-200, March.
  16. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
  17. Bradford, W. David & Dolan, Paul, 2010. "Getting used to it: The adaptive global utility model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 811-820, December.
  18. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1190. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.