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

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Author Info

  • 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. 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.
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  4. 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).
  5. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. 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 B6-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  9. 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, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Phelps, Charlotte D., 2001. "A clue to the paradox of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 293-300, July.
  12. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
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  16. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "The nature of human altruism," Experimental 0402003, EconWPA.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Inmaculada García & José Molina & María Navarro, 2007. "How Satisfied are Spouses with their Leisure Time? Evidence from Europe," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 546-565, December.
  2. Rainer Winkelmann, 2009. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 421-430, August.
  3. Dennis Gaertner, 2007. "Why Bayes Rules: A Note on Bayesian vs. Classical Inference in Regime Switching Models," SOI - Working Papers 0719, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  4. 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 30, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Johannes Schoder & Peter Zweifel, 2008. "Managed Care Konzepte und Lösungsansätze– Ein internationaler Vergleich aus schweizerischer Sicht," SOI - Working Papers 0801, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  6. N Powdthavee, 2008. "I Can’t Smile Without You: Spousal Correlation in Life Satisfaction," Discussion Papers 08/16, Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Sandra Hanslin, 2008. "The effect of trade openness on optimal government size under endogenous firm entry," SOI - Working Papers 0802, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 200721, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  10. Mauricio Cárdenas & Carolina Mejía & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2008. "Education and life satisfaction: perception or reality?," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 009188, FEDESARROLLO.
  11. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2007:i:10:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Ana Fernandes, 2011. "Altruism, labor supply and redistributive neutrality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1443-1469, October.
  13. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Li, Wanxin & Martinsson, Peter, 2011. "Subjective well-being among preadolescents - Evidence from urban China," Working Papers in Economics 500, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  14. Dennis L. Gärtner, 2010. "Monopolistic screening under learning by doing," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 574-597.
  15. 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).
  16. Adrian Bruhin, 2008. "Stochastic Expected Utility and Prospect Theory in a Horse Race: A Finite Mixture Approach," SOI - Working Papers 0803, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.

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