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What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-Course Model of Well-Being

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Author Info

  • Layard, Richard

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Clark, Andrew E.

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Cornaglia, Francesca

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Vernoit, James

    (CEP, London School of Economics)

Abstract

If policy-makers care about well-being, they need a recursive model of how adult life-satisfaction is predicted by childhood influences, acting both directly and (indirectly) through adult circumstances. We estimate such a model using the British Cohort Study (1970). The most powerful childhood predictor of adult life-satisfaction is the child's emotional health. Next comes the child's conduct. The least powerful predictor is the child's intellectual development. This has obvious implications for educational policy. Among adult circumstances, family income accounts for only 0.5% of the variance of life-satisfaction. Mental and physical health are much more important.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7682.

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Length: 64 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Economic Journal
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7682

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Related research

Keywords: intellectual performance; well-being; life-satisfaction; intervention; model; life-course; emotional health; conduct; success;

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References

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  1. John F. Helliwell, 2002. "How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Nicholas A. Christakis & James H. Fowler & Bruno S. Frey, 2010. "Genes, Economics, and Happiness," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-24, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  3. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher Boyce & Alex Wood & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2013. "Is Personality Fixed? Personality Changes as Much as “Variable” Economic Factors and More Strongly Predicts Changes to Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 287-305, March.
  5. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 15664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-Course Model of Well-Being
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2013-11-07 14:35:33
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Layard & Dan Chisholm & Vikram Patel & Shekhar Saxena, 2013. "Mental Illness and Unhappiness," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 600, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00814659 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Richard Layard, 2013. "Mental health: the new frontier for labour economics," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, December.
  4. Layard, Richard & Chisholm, Dan & Patel, Vikram & Saxena, Shekhar, 2013. "Mental Illness and Unhappiness," IZA Discussion Papers 7620, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi, 2013. "Poverty and Well-Being: Panel Evidence from Germany," PSE Working Papers hal-00814659, HAL.

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