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Adaptation or Social Comparison? The effects of income on happiness

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  • Angeles, Luis

Abstract

Two mechanisms have attracted considerable attention from researchers studying the effects of income on happiness: adaptation and social comparison. In this paper we study both mechanisms using a panel of British households. Besides dealing with the UK case in detail, the paper contributes to the literature by considering the two mecha- nisms together and testing for them both separately and jointly. Our results strongly support the existence of adaptation effects but find only weak evidence in favour of social comparison.

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File URL: http://repo.sire.ac.uk/handle/10943/136
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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2010-03.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:136

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Keywords: Income and happiness; adaptation; social comparison; BHPS;

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  10. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
  11. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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  14. Oswald, Andrew J & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence : Theory and Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 793, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  15. MatthewD. Rablen, 2008. "Relativity, Rank and the Utility of Income," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 801-821, 04.
  16. Clark, Andrew E., 1999. "Are wages habit-forming? evidence from micro data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 179-200, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Luis Angeles, 2009. "Adaption and anticipation effects to life events in the United Kingdom," Working Papers 2009_08, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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