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

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  • Schwarze, Johannes

    (University of Bamberg)

  • Winkelmann, Rainer

    ()
    (University of Zurich)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1487.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2011, 24 (3), 1033-1051
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1487

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Keywords: fixed effects; extended family; utility function; ordered probit;

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References

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  1. Phelps, Charlotte D., 2001. "A clue to the paradox of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 293-300, July.
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  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. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "The nature of human altruism," Experimental, EconWPA 0402003, EconWPA.
  6. 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, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
  9. Terza, Joseph V., 1987. "Estimating linear models with ordinal qualitative regressors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 275-291, March.
  10. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Subjective Well-Being and the Family: Results from an Ordered Probit Model with Multiple Random Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 1016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. 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, International Conferences on Panel Data B6-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  13. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  14. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Adrian Bruhin, 2008. "Stochastic Expected Utility and Prospect Theory in a Horse Race: A Finite Mixture Approach," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0803, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  2. Dennis Gaertner, 2007. "Monopolistic Screening under Learning By Doing," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0718, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  3. Sandra Hanslin, 2008. "The effect of trade openness on optimal government size under endogenous firm entry," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0802, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  4. 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, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200721, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. Dennis Gaertner, 2007. "Why Bayes Rules: A Note on Bayesian vs. Classical Inference in Regime Switching Models," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0719, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  6. N Powdthavee, 2008. "I Can’t Smile Without You: Spousal Correlation in Life Satisfaction," Discussion Papers, Department of Economics, University of York 08/16, Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. 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).
  8. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2006. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 2346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Johannes Schoder & Peter Zweifel, 2008. "Managed Care Konzepte und Lösungsansätze– Ein internationaler Vergleich aus schweizerischer Sicht," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0801, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  10. 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," Data Documentation, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research 30, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Inmaculada García & José Alberto Molina Chueca & María Navarro, 2006. "How satisfied are spouses with their Leisure Time?. Evidence from Europe," Documentos de Trabajo, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza dt2006-05, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
  12. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Li, Wanxin & Martinsson, Peter, 2011. "Subjective well-being among preadolescents - Evidence from urban China," Working Papers in Economics, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics 500, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2007:i:10:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Mauricio Cárdenas & Carolina Mejía & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2008. "Education and life satisfaction: perception or reality?," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO, FEDESARROLLO 009188, FEDESARROLLO.
  16. Ana Fernandes, 2011. "Altruism, labor supply and redistributive neutrality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1443-1469, October.

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