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What Can Happiness Research Tell Us about Altruism?: Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel

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  • Johannes Schwarze
  • Rainer Winkelmann

Abstract

Much progress has been made in recent years on developing and applying a direct measure of utility using survey questions on subjective well-being. In this paper we explore whether this new type of measurement can be fruitfully applied to the study of interdependent utility in general, and altruism between parents and children in particular. We introduce an appropriate econometric methodology and, using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 2000 - 2002, find that the parents' self-reported happiness depends positively, albeit not very strongly, on the happiness of adult children who moved out.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.43020.de/dp475.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 475.

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Length: 25 p.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp475

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Keywords: Utility function; Extended family; Fixed effects; Ordered probit;

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References

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rainer Winkelmann, 2002. "Subjective Well-Being and the Family: Results from an Ordered Probit Model with Multiple Random Effects," SOI - Working Papers 0204, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2004.
  3. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2005. "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IZA Discussion Papers 1811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  5. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "The nature of human altruism," Experimental 0402003, EconWPA.
  7. Phelps, Charlotte D., 2001. "A clue to the paradox of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 293-300, July.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  9. Terza, Joseph V., 1987. "Estimating linear models with ordinal qualitative regressors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 275-291, March.
  10. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 3046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  12. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Exploring the economic and social determinants of psychological well-being and perceived social support in England," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
  13. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  14. Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
  15. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  16. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2002. "Long Run and Short Effects in Static Panel Models," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 B6-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mauricio Cárdenas & Carolina Mejía & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2008. "Education and life satisfaction: perception or reality?," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 009188, FEDESARROLLO.
  2. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Li, Wanxin & Martinsson, Peter, 2011. "Subjective well-being among preadolescents - Evidence from urban China," Working Papers in Economics 500, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Martin Spieß & Martin Kroh & Rainer Pischner & Gert G. Wagner, 2008. "On the Treatment of Non-Original Sample Members in the German Household Panel Study (SOEP): Tracing, Weighting, and Frequencies," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 98, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Dennis Gaertner, 2007. "Monopolistic Screening under Learning By Doing," SOI - Working Papers 0718, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  5. Ana Fernandes, 2011. "Altruism, labor supply and redistributive neutrality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1443-1469, October.
  6. Rainer Winkelmann, 2009. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 421-430, August.
  7. Inmaculada García & José Alberto Molina Chueca & María Navarro, 2006. "How satisfied are spouses with their Leisure Time?. Evidence from Europe," Documentos de Trabajo dt2006-05, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
  8. N Powdthavee, 2008. "I Can’t Smile Without You: Spousal Correlation in Life Satisfaction," Discussion Papers 08/16, Department of Economics, University of York.
  9. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2007:i:10:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Jose Alberto Molina & Maria Navarro & Ian Walker, 2007. "Mums and their sons; Dads and their daughters: Panel Data Evidence of Parental Altruism across 14 EU Countries," Working Papers 200721, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  11. Dennis Gaertner, 2007. "Why Bayes Rules: A Note on Bayesian vs. Classical Inference in Regime Switching Models," SOI - Working Papers 0719, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  12. Sandra Hanslin, 2008. "The effect of trade openness on optimal government size under endogenous firm entry," SOI - Working Papers 0802, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  13. Johannes Schoder & Peter Zweifel, 2008. "Managed Care Konzepte und Lösungsansätze– Ein internationaler Vergleich aus schweizerischer Sicht," SOI - Working Papers 0801, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  14. Haizhen Mou & Stanley L. Winer, 2012. "Fiscal Incidence when both Individual Welfare and Family Structure Matter: The Case of Subsidization of Home-Care for the Elderly," CESifo Working Paper Series 3731, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Molina, José Alberto & Navarro Paniagua, Maria & Walker, Ian, 2007. "Mums and Their Sons, Dads and Their Daughters: Panel Data Evidence of Interdependent Marginal Utilities across 14 EU Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Adrian Bruhin, 2008. "Stochastic Expected Utility and Prospect Theory in a Horse Race: A Finite Mixture Approach," SOI - Working Papers 0803, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.

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