Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

What are we learning from the life satisfaction literature?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Leonardo Becchetti
  • Alessandra Pelloni

Abstract

The recent availability of cross-sectional and longitudinal survey data on life satisfaction in a large number of countries gives us the opportunity to verify empirically (and not just to assume)what matters for individuals and what economists and policymakers should take into account when trying to promote personal and societal wellbeing. The wide array of econometric findings available in this booming literature display evidence, generally robust to different cultural backgrounds, on the effects of some important happiness drivers (income, unemployment, marital status) which can be co*nsidered “quasi stylized facts” of happiness. If economic policies, for many obvious reasons, cannot maximize self declared life satisfaction as such, we are nonetheless learning a lot from these contributions. In particular, results on the relevance and the risk of crowding out of relational goods, on the revisited inflation/unemployment trade off and, more in general, on the measurement of the shadow value of non market goods obtained with life satisfaction estimates, are conveying relevant information about individual preferences and what is behind utility functions. Such findings suggest us to move beyond anthropological reductionism toward behavioral complexity and to refocus target indicators of economic policies in order to minimize the distance between economic development and human wellbeing.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.dt.tesoro.it/export/sites/sitodt/modules/documenti_it/analisi_progammazione/working_papers/What_are_we_learning_from_the_life.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance in its series Working Papers with number 2.

as in new window
Length: 44
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:itt:wpaper:wp2011-2

Contact details of provider:
Email:
Web page: http://www.dt.tesoro.it
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: life satisfaction; shadow value of non market goods; unemployment/inflation;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
  2. 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.
  3. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2005. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 224-246, 01.
  4. Andrew Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2003. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," DELTA Working Papers 2003-14, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, . "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 90-5a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2003-19 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Leonardo Becchetti & Elena Giachin Ricca & Alessandra Pelloni, 2009. "Children, happiness and taxation," Econometica Working Papers wp12, Econometica.
  9. Ennio Bilancini & Simone D’Alessandro, 2011. "Long-run Welfare under Externalities in Consumption, Leisure, and Production: A Case for Happy Degrowth vs. Unhappy Growth," Department of Economics 0667, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  10. Easterlin, Richard A., 2008. "Lost in Transition: Life Satisfaction on the Road to Capitalism," IZA Discussion Papers 3409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. 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.
  12. Basu, Kaushik, 1994. "The Traveler's Dilemma: Paradoxes of Rationality in Game Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 391-95, May.
  13. Becchetti, Leonardo & Pelloni, Alessandra & Rossetti, Fiammetta, 2007. "Sociability and Happiness," AICCON Working Papers 44-2007, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  14. Shiqing Jiang & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2008. "Happiness in the dual society of urban China:Hukou identity, horizontal inequality and heterogeneous reference," LICOS Discussion Papers 22308, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  15. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  16. Daniel W. Sacks & Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 3206, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Orsolya Lelkes, 2002. "Tasting Freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," CASE Papers case59, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  18. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  19. Leonardo Becchetti & Sara Savastano, 2009. "The money-happiness relationship in transition countries: evidence from Albania," Econometica Working Papers wp11, Econometica.
  20. Alesina, Alberto F & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Frey, Bruno S. & Benesch, Christine & Stutzer, Alois, 2007. "Does watching TV make us happy?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 283-313, June.
  22. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  24. Luis Angeles, 2009. "Adaption and anticipation effects to life events in the United Kingdom," Working Papers 2009_08, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  25. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  26. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  27. Andrew E. Clark & Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergård-Nielsen, 2008. "Economic satisfaction and income rank in small neighbourhoods," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586254, HAL.
  28. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  29. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," CEPR Discussion Papers 6944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Luca Corazzini & Marco Faravelli & Luca Stanca, 2010. "A Prize To Give For: An Experiment on Public Good Funding Mechanisms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 944-967, 09.
  31. Luechinger, Simon & Raschky, Paul A., 2009. "Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 620-633, April.
  32. 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.
  33. Becchetti Leonardo & Pelloni Alessandra & Rossetti Fiammetta, 2008. "Relational goods, sociability, and happiness," wp.comunite 0039, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  34. L. Randall Wray, 2005. "Monetary Policy Strategies of the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_431, Levy Economics Institute.
  35. Burda, Michael C. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Weil, Philippe, 2006. "The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US," IZA Discussion Papers 2270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  36. 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.
  37. Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  38. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  39. Leonardo Becchetti & Stefano Castriota, 2010. "The Effects of a Calamity on Income and Wellbeing of Poor Microfinance Borrowers: The Case of the 2004 Tsunami Shock," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 211-233.
  40. Richard A. Easterlin, 2008. "Lost in Transition: Life Satisfaction on the Road to Capitalism," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 94, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  41. Becchetti, Leonardo & Castriota, Stefano & Giuntella, Giovanni Osea, 2010. "The effects of age and job protection on the welfare costs of inflation and unemployment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 137-146, March.
  42. Becchetti, Leonardo & Rossetti, Fiammetta, 2009. "When money does not buy happiness: The case of "frustrated achievers"," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 159-167, January.
  43. Antoci, Angelo & Sacco, Pier Luigi & Vanin, Paolo, 2007. "Social capital accumulation and the evolution of social participation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 128-143, February.
  44. Paul Frijters & Ingo Geishecker & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Can the Large Swings in Russian Life Satisfaction be Explained by Ups and Downs in Real Incomes?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(3), pages 433-458, October.
  45. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208, 02.
  46. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  47. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-94.
  48. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  49. Luigino Bruni & Luca Stanca, 2005. "Watching alone: Relational Goods, Television and Happiness," Working Papers 90, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  50. Stephen P. Jenkins & Lars Osberg, 2003. "Nobody to Play with?: The Implications of Leisure Coordination," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 368, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  51. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  52. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  53. Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542.
  54. Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2003. "Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 329-348, June.
  55. Jonathan Gardner & Andrew J. Oswald, 2006. "Do divorcing couples become happier by breaking up?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(2), pages 319-336.
  56. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2008. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 917-926, September.
  57. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  58. repec:pse:psecon:2008-61 is not listed on IDEAS
  59. Beegle, Kathleen & Himelein, Kristen & Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "Frame-of-reference bias in subjective welfare regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4904, The World Bank.
  60. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  61. Carole Uhlaner, 1989. "“Relational goods” and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 253-285, September.
  62. Giacomo Corneo, 2002. "Work and Television," CESifo Working Paper Series 829, CESifo Group Munich.
  63. Hayo, Bernd, 2007. "Happiness in transition: An empirical study on Eastern Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 204-221, June.
  64. Bernard M. S. van Praag & P. Frijters & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2001. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-Being," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 265, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  65. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
  66. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  67. Hirschman, Albert O & Rothschild, Michael, 1973. "The Changing Tolerance for Income Inequality in the Course of Economic Development; with a Mathematical Appendix," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 544-66, November.
  68. Andrew E. Clark, 2012. "Happiness, Habits and High Rank: Comparisons in Economic and Social Life," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 452, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  69. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
  70. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  71. Frijters, Paul, 2000. "Do individuals try to maximize general satisfaction?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 281-304, June.
  72. Johannes Schwarze, 2003. "Using Panel Data on Income Satisfaction to Estimate Equivalence Scale Elasticity," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(3), pages 359-372, 09.
  73. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  74. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur Stone, 2004. "Toward National Well-Being Accounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 429-434, May.
  75. David Cobham, 2006. " Using Taylor Rules to Assess the Relative Activism of the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Board," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0602, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  76. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini & Maurizio Pugno, 2007. "Did the Decline in Social Capital Decrease American Happiness? A Relational Explanation of the Happiness Paradox," Department of Economics University of Siena 513, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  77. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  78. Andrea Brandolini & Silvia Magri & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Asset-based measurement of poverty," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 267-284.
  79. Max Haller & Markus Hadler, 2006. "How Social Relations and Structures can Produce Happiness and Unhappiness: An International Comparative Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 169-216, 01.
  80. Jean-Guillaume Sahuc & Frank Smets, 2007. "Differences in interest rate policy at the ECB and the Fed : an investigation with a medium-scale DSGE model," Documents de recherche 07-07, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
  81. Carson Richard T. & Mitchell Robert Cameron, 1995. "Sequencing and Nesting in Contingent Valuation Surveys," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 155-173, March.
  82. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  83. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  84. Shiv, Baba & Huber, Joel, 2000. " The Impact of Anticipating Satisfaction on Consumer Choice," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 202-16, September.
  85. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Self-rated economic welfare in Russia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1453-1473, September.
  86. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
  87. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  88. Hirschman, Albert O., 1973. "The changing tolerance for income inequality in the course of economic development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 1(12), pages 29-36, December.
  89. Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck94-1.
  90. Leonardo Becchetti & Riccardo Massari & Paolo Naticchioni, 2010. "Why has happiness inequality increased? Suggestions for promoting social cohesion," Working Papers 177, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  91. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  92. Maddison, David & Bigano, Andrea, 2003. "The amenity value of the Italian climate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 319-332, March.
  93. Bruno Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The life satisfaction approach to valuing public goods: The case of terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 317-345, March.
  94. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2007. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," MPRA Paper 3341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  95. Jevons, William Stanley, 1866. "Brief Account of a General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 29, pages 282-287.
  96. Gardner, Jonathan & Andrew Oswald, 2002. "Does Money Buy Happiness? A Longitudinal Study Using Data on Windfalls," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 81, Royal Economic Society.
  97. Kenneth Greene & Bong Joon Yoon, 2004. "Religiosity, Economics and Life Satisfaction," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(2), pages 245-261.
  98. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2002. "Environmental and social degradation as the engine of economic growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-16, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:itt:wpaper:wp2011-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marina Sabatini).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.