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Other-regarding preferences, spousal disability and happiness: Evidence from German couples

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  • Nils Braakmann

    ()
    (Institute of Economics, University of Lüneburg)

Abstract

This paper considers the impact of adverse health shocks that hit an individual’s partner on subjective well-being. Using data on couples from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 1984 to 2006, I compare the losses in well-being caused by own and spousal disability using panel-regressions. I find that women and to a lesser extent men are harmed by spousal disability which is consistent with the existence of other-regarding preferences within couples. The magnitude of effects suggests that spousal disability is about one quarter to one half as harmful as individual disability with larger effects being found for women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 130.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:130

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Keywords: disability; subjective well-being; other-regarding preferences;

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  1. SonjaC. Kassenboehmer & JohnP. Haisken-DeNew, 2009. "You're Fired! The Causal Negative Effect of Entry Unemployment on Life Satisfaction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 448-462, 03.
  2. Andrew E. Clark & Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergård-Nielsen, 2008. "Economic satisfaction and income rank in small neighbourhoods," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586254, HAL.
  3. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. van Praag, 2002. "The subjective costs of health losses due to chronic diseases. An alternative model for monetary appraisal," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(8), pages 709-722.
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Ville, I. & Ravaud, J. -F. & Group, Tetrafigap, 2001. "Subjective well-being and severe motor impairments: the Tetrafigap survey on the long-term outcome of tetraplegic spinal cord injured persons," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 369-384, February.
  8. Wim Groot & Henri�tte Maassen van den Brink & Erik Plug, 2004. "Money for health: the equivalent variation of cardiovascular diseases," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 859-872.
  9. Adrian Bruhin & Rainer Winkelmann, 2009. "Happiness functions with preference interdependence and heterogeneity: the case of altruism within the family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 1063-1080, October.
  10. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges," IZA Discussion Papers 2208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. van Praag, 2002. "The Subjective Costs of Health Losses due to Chronic Diseases," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-023/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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