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Subjective Well-Being: Weather Matters; Climate Doesn't

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  • John Feddersen

    (Department of Economics, University of Oxford)

  • Robert Metcalfe

    (Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, The University of Chicago)

  • Mark Wooden

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

We investigate the impact of short-term weather and long-term climate on self-reported life satisfaction using panel data. We find robust evidence that day-to-day weather variation impacts life satisfaction by a similar magnitude to acquiring a mild disability. Utilizing two sources of variation in the cognitive complexity of satisfaction questions, we present evidence that weather bias arises because of the cognitive challenge of reporting life satisfaction. Consistent with past studies, we detect a relationship between long-term climate and life satisfaction without individual fixed effects. This relationship is not robust to individual fixed effects, suggesting climate does not directly influence life satisfaction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2012n25.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2012n25

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Cited by:
  1. Alem, Yonas & Colmer, Jonathan, 2014. "Optimal Expectations and the Welfare Cost of Climate Variability," Discussion Papers dp-14-03-efd, Resources For the Future.
  2. Yonas Alem & Jonathan Colmer, 2013. "Don’t Worry, Be Happy: The Welfare Cost of Climate Variability – A Subjective Well-Being Approach," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 118, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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