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Money and Happiness: Evidence from the Industry Wage Structure

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  • Pischke, Jörn-Steffen

Abstract

There is a well-established positive correlation between life-satisfaction measures and income in individual level cross-sectional data. This paper attempts to provide some evidence on whether this correlation reflects causality running from money to happiness. I use industry wage differentials as instruments for income. This is based on the idea that at least part of these differentials are due to rents, and part of the pattern of industry affiliations of individuals is random. To probe the validity of these assumptions, I compare estimates for life satisfaction with those for job satisfaction, present fixed effects estimates, and present estimates for married women using their husbands' industry as the instrument. All these specifications paint a fairly uniform picture across three different data sets. IV estimates are similar to the OLS estimates suggesting that most of the association of income and well-being is causal.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8409.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8409

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Keywords: life satisfaction; well-being;

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  1. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," CEPR Discussion Papers 6944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Money and Happiness: Evidence from the Industry Wage Structure
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-06-06 10:30:15
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Warn N. Lekfuangfu & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Mark Wooden, 2013. "The Marginal Income Effect of Education on Happiness: Estimating the Direct and Indirect Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Well-Being in Australia," CEP Discussion Papers dp1214, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Hannes Schwandt, 2012. "A Cautionary Note on Using Industry Affiliation to Predict Income," CEP Discussion Papers dp1163, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Marta Lachowska, 2013. "Employment Relations and Wages: What Can We Learn from Subjective Assessments?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 13-196, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Alpaslan Akay & Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2012. "Happy Taxpayers? Income Taxation and Well-Being," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 526, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Berlin, Martin & Kaunitz, Niklas, 2011. "Subjective Well-Being, Income and Economic Margins," Working Paper Series 12/2011, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  8. Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2013. "Adaptation, anticipation and social interaction in happiness: An integrated error-correction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 131-149.
  9. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Robert J. B. Goudie & Sach Mukherjee & Andrew J. Oswald & Stephen Wu, 2012. "Happiness as a Driver of Risk-Avoiding Behavior," CEP Discussion Papers dp1126, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M. & Chan, Andrew Yiu-Chung, 2014. "Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: An application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 172-181.
  11. Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2014. "Market hours, household work, child care, and wage rates of partners: an empirical analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-81, March.
  12. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Hannes Schwandt, 2012. "A cautionary note on using industry affiliation to predict income," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51508, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Chan, Andrew Yiu-Chung & Fleming, Christopher M., 2013. "Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: An application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152133, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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