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Day-of-the-Week Effects in Subjective Well-Being: Does Selectivity Matter?

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  • Tumen, Semih
  • Zeydanli, Tugba

Abstract

Individuals tend to self-report higher well-being levels on certain days of the weeks than they do on the remaining days, controlling for observables. Using the 2008 release of the British Household Panel Survey, we test whether this empirical observation suffers from selection bias. In other words, we examine if subjective well-being is correlated with unobserved characteristics that lead the individuals to take the interview on specific days of the week. We focus on two distinct well-being measures: job satisfaction and happiness. We provide convincing evidence for both of these measures that the interviews are not randomly distributed across the days of the week. In other words, individuals with certain unobserved characteristics tend to take the interviews selectively. We conclude that a considerable part of the day-of-the-week patterns can be explained by a standard "non-random sorting on unobservables" argument rather than "mood fluctuations." This means that the day-of-the-week estimates reported in the literature are likely to be biased and should be treated cautiously.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 50475.

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Date of creation: 07 Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:50475

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Keywords: Day-of-the-week effects; subjective well-being; self-selection; treatment effects; BHPS.;

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References

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  1. Tumen, Semih & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2014. "Is Happiness Contagious? Separating Spillover Externalities from the Group-Level Social Context," MPRA Paper 53184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
  3. Manning, W. G. & Duan, N. & Rogers, W. H., 1987. "Monte Carlo evidence on the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 59-82, May.
  4. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  5. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
  7. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  8. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  9. Robert A. Pollak, 2002. "Gary Becker's Contributions to Family and Household Economics," NBER Working Papers 9232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  12. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter, 2009. "Sundays Are Blue: Aren’t They? - The Day-of-the-Week Effect on Subjective Well-Being and Socio-Economic Status," Working Papers in Economics 397, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  14. Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
  15. John F. Helliwell & Shun Wang, 2011. "Weekends and Subjective Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 17180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  17. Mark P. Taylor, 2006. "Tell me why I don't like Mondays: investigating day of the week effects on job satisfaction and psychological well-being," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(1), pages 127-142.
  18. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
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Cited by:
  1. Tumen, Semih & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2014. "Is Happiness Contagious? Separating Spillover Externalities from the Group-Level Social Context," MPRA Paper 53184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Adrian Chadi, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201403, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

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