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Hedonic Capital

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  • Graham, Liam

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper proposes a new way to think about happiness. It distinguishes between stocks and flows. Central to the analysis is a concept we call ‘hedonic capital’. The paper sets out a model of the dynamics of wellbeing in which bad life-shocks are smoothed by the drawing down of hedonic capital. The model fits the patterns found in the empirical literature: the existence of a stable level of wellbeing and a tendency to return gradually towards that level. It offers a theory of hedonic adaptation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2079.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2079

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Keywords: adaptation; wellbeing; evolution; happiness; habituation;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Senik, Claudia, 2006. "Is Man Doomed to Progress?," IZA Discussion Papers 2237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2012. "Resilience to Economic Shocks and the Long Reach of Childhood Bullying," IZA Discussion Papers 6945, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Francesco Ferrante, 2009. "Education, Aspirations and Life Satisfaction," Working Papers, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche 2009-03, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.
  4. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2012. "Recent Developments in the Economics of Happiness: A Selective Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 7078, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Konow, James & Earley, Joseph, 2007. "The Hedonistic Paradox: Is Homo Economicus Happier?," MPRA Paper 2728, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590436 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A., 2008. "Happiness Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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