How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?
AbstractPsychologists and sociologists usually interpret answers to happiness surveys as cardinal and comparableacross respondents (Kahneman et al. 1999). As a result, these social scientists run OLS regressionson happiness and changes in happiness. Economists, on the other hand, usually only assume ordinalcomparability and have mainly used ordered latent response models. As a consequence, economists haveby and large not taken satisfactory account of fixed individual traits. We address this latter problemby developing a conditional estimator for the fixed-effect ordered logit model. The empirical findingspresented show that it makes virtually no difference whether one assumes ordinality or cardinality ofhappiness answers, whilst allowing for fixed-effects does change results substantially. This leads us toadvocate allowing for and endogenising the persistent personality traits that make up these fixed-effects.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 02-024/3.
Date of creation: 06 Mar 2002
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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl
Fixed effects; happiness methodology; unobservables; latent variabIe models;
Other versions of this item:
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
- C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-04-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-DCM-2002-04-03 (Discrete Choice Models)
- NEP-ECM-2002-04-06 (Econometrics)
- NEP-LTV-2002-04-03 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-MIC-2002-04-03 (Microeconomics)
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