Going Beyond Average Joe's Happiness: Using Quantile Regressions to Analyze the Full Subjective Well-Being Distribution
AbstractStandard regression techniques are only able to give an incomplete picture of the relationship between subjective well-being and its determinants since the very idea of conventional estimators such as OLS is the averaging out over the whole distribution: studies based on such regression techniques thus are implicitly only interested in Average Joe's happiness. Using cross-sectional data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) for the year 2006, we apply quantile regressions to analyze effects of a set of explanatory variables on different quantiles of the happiness distribution and compare these results with an ordinary least squares regression. We also analyze some reversed relationships, where happiness enters the regression equation as an explanatory variable (e.g., the effects of happiness on individual's financial success). Among our results we observe a decreasing importance of income, health status and social factors with increasing quantiles of happiness. Another finding is that education has a positive association with happiness at the lower quantiles but a negative association at the upper quantiles.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2010-10.
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as "From Average Joe's happiness to Miserable Jane and Cheerful John: using quantile regressions to analyze the full subjective well-being distribution", online first in: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2011, doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2011.02.005.
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - General Welfare
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-08-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2010-08-14 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-SOC-2010-08-14 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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.:
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"Life satisfaction and self-employment: A matching approach,"
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