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Money and Happiness: Evidence from the Industry Wage Structure

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  • Jörn-Steffen Pischke

Abstract

There is a well-established positive correlation between life-satisfaction measures and income in individual level cross-sectional data. This paper attempts to provide some evidence on whether this correlation reflects causality running from money to happiness. I use industry wage differentials as instruments for income. This is based on the idea that at least part of these differentials are due to rents, and part of the pattern of industry affiliations of individuals is random. To probe the validity of these assumptions, I compare estimates for life satisfaction with those for job satisfaction, present fixed effects estimates, and present estimates for married women using their husbands' industry as the instrument. All these specifications paint a fairly uniform picture across three different data sets. IV estimates are similar to the OLS estimates suggesting that most of the association of income and well-being is causal.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17056.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17056

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  1. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Money and Happiness: Evidence from the Industry Wage Structure
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-06-06 10:30:15
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Cited by:
  1. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2013. "Adaptation, anticipation and social interaction in happiness: An integrated error-correction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 131-149.
  3. Pischke, Jörn-Steffen & Schwandt, Hannes, 2012. "A Cautionary Note on Using Industry Affiliation to Predict Income," CEPR Discussion Papers 9131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Warn N. Lekfuangfu & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Mark Wooden, 2013. "The marginal income effect of education on happiness: estimating the direct and indirect effects of compulsory schooling on well-being in Australia," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51552, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Akay, Alpaslan & Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Happy Taxpayers? Income Taxation and Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6999, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Marta Lachowska, 2013. "Employment Relations and Wages: What Can We Learn from Subjective Assessments?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 13-196, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  7. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Hannes Schwandt, 2012. "A cautionary note on using industry affiliation to predict income," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51508, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Robert J. B. Goudie & Sach Mukherjee & Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Andrew J. Oswald & Stephen Wu, 2011. "Happiness as a Driver of Risk-Avoiding Behavior," CESifo Working Paper Series 3451, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Berlin, Martin & Kaunitz, Niklas, 2011. "Subjective Well-Being, Income and Economic Margins," Working Paper Series 12/2011, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  10. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M. & Chan, Andrew Yiu-Chung, 2014. "Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: An application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 172-181.
  11. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Chan, Andrew Yiu-Chung & Fleming, Christopher M., 2013. "Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: An application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152133, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  12. Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2014. "Market hours, household work, child care, and wage rates of partners: an empirical analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-81, March.
  13. Christian Pfeifer, 2013. "Life satisfaction and the consumption values of partners and friends: Empirical evidence from German panel survey data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 3131-3142.

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