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Well-being across America

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  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Wu, Stephen

    ()
    (Hamilton College)

Abstract

This paper uses new Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to provide the first estimates of well-being across the states of America. From this sample of 1.3 million US citizens, we analyze measures of life satisfaction and mental health. Adjusting for people's characteristics, states such as Louisiana and DC have high psychological well-being levels while California and West Virginia have low well-being; there is no correlation between states' well-being and their GDP per capita. Correcting for people's incomes, satisfaction with life is lowest in the rich states. We discuss implications for the arbitrage theory that regions provide equal utility and compensating differentials.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4600.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2011, 93 (4), 1118-1134
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4600

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Related research

Keywords: depression; mental health; compensating differentials; BRFSS; geography; happiness; GHQ; Easterlin Paradox; life course;

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References

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  1. Levinson, Arik, 2012. "Valuing public goods using happiness data: The case of air quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 869-880.
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  4. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Happiness in US states
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-12-14 15:01:40
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Cheng, Terence C. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Oswald, Andrew J., 2014. "Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well-being: Results from Four Data Sets," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 187, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Proto, Eugenio & Oswald, Andrew J., 2014. "National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration," IZA Discussion Papers 8300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dluhosch, Barbara & Horgos, Daniel, 2012. "Trading Up the Happiness Ladder," Working Paper 115/2012, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  4. Mark D., Partridge & Dan S., Rickman & M. Rose, Olfert & Kamar, Ali, 2010. "Dwindling U.S. Internal Migration: Evidence of Spatial Equilibrium?," MPRA Paper 28157, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S. & Olfert, M. Rose & Tan, Ying, 2012. "When spatial equilibrium fails: is place-based policy second best?," MPRA Paper 40270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Holger Breinlich & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Jonathan R.W. Temple, 2013. "Regional growth and regional decline," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 729, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  7. Maren M. Michaelsen, 2012. "Mental Health and Labour Supply: Evidence from Mexico’s Ongoing Violent Conflicts," HiCN Working Papers 117, Households in Conflict Network.
  8. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Abrevaya, Jason, 2013. "Beauty is the promise of happiness?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 351-368.
  9. Yakovlev, Pavel & Leguizamon, Susane, 2012. "Ignorance is not bliss: On the role of education in subjective well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 806-815.
  10. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  11. Rickman, Dan S., 2014. "Assessing Regional Quality of Life: A Call for Action in Regional Science," MPRA Paper 58109, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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