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Happiness and Domain Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence

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  • Easterlin, Richard A.

    ()
    (University of Southern California)

  • Sawangfa, Onnicha

    ()
    (University of Southern California)

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    Abstract

    In the United States happiness, on average, varies positively with socio-economic status; is fairly constant over time; rises to midlife and then declines; and is lower among younger than older birth cohorts. These four patterns of mean happiness can be predicted rather closely from the mean satisfaction people report with each of four domains – finances, family life, work, and health. Even though the domain satisfaction patterns typically differ from each other and from that for happiness, they come together in a way that explains quite well the overall patterns of happiness. The importance of any given domain depends on the happiness relation under study (by socio-economic status, time, age or birth cohort), and no single domain is invariably the key to happiness.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2584.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2007
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: A.K. Dutt and B. Radcliff (eds.), Happiness, Economics, and Politics: Towards a Multi-Disciplinary Approach, 2009, Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2584

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    Related research

    Keywords: happiness; subjective well-being; domain satisfaction;

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    References

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    1. 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.
    2. de la Croix, David, 1998. "Growth and the relativity of satisfaction," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 105-125, September.
    3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2007. "Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2003. "Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 329-348, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Robert Cummins, 1996. "The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 303-328, January.
    8. Carol Graham, 2005. "Insights on Development from the Economics of Happiness," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 201-231.
    9. Easterlin, Richard A., 2006. "Life cycle happiness and its sources: Intersections of psychology, economics, and demography," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 463-482, August.
    10. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bonsang Eric & Klein Tobias J., 2011. "Retirement and Subjective Well-Being," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    2. Richard A. Easterlin & Anke C. Zimmermann, 2008. "Life Satisfaction and Economic Conditions in East and West Germany Pre- and Post-Unification," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 95, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Torshizian, Eilya & Mehrara, Mohsen, 2011. "The effects of Economy, Values and Health on Happiness In Iran: the case of the Kish Island," MPRA Paper 30085, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Apr 2011.
    4. López Ulloa, Beatriz Fabiola & Moller, Valerie & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "How Does Subjective Well-Being Evolve with Age? A Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 7328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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