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Abstract

We propose a measure of life satisfaction, alternative to the standard synthetic cognitive wellbeing question, based on the specific contribution of eleven life satisfaction sub-components (including satisfaction about the past, life opportunities, hope for the future, vitality, control over one’s on life, meaning of life). The alternative measure is either estimated as a latent factor, obtained as a simple unweighted average from the above mentioned sub-components, or extracted with principal component analysis. We document that the new dependent variable fits much better standard socio-demographic controls and corrects the "Danish life satisfaction bias" in the direction suggested by the vignette approach. These findings do not reject our theoretical assumption that the alternative measures derived from the life satisfaction sub-components are less noisy and less culturally biased and therefore perform better than the standard self-reported life satisfaction. The straightforward policy advice of the paper is to introduce the above mentioned sub-components (similarly to what happens with sub-questions used to calculate the General Health Questionnaire score) in an additional question to measure more effectively subjective wellbeing.

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File URL: ftp://www.ceistorvergata.it/repec/rpaper/RP259.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 259.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 09 Jan 2013
Date of revision: 09 Jan 2013
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:259

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
Phone: +390672595601
Fax: +39062020687
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Web page: http://www.ceistorvergata.it
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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Web: http://www.ceistorvergata.it

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Keywords: life satisfaction; country bias; measurement error; multiple indicators;

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References

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  1. 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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  7. Teresa Bago d’Uva & Maarten Lindeboom & Owen O’Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2011. "Slipping Anchor?: Testing the Vignettes Approach to Identification and Correction of Reporting Heterogeneity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 875-906.
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  10. Corrado, L. & Weeks, M., 2010. "Identification Strategies in Survey Response Using Vignettes," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1031, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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  14. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Theodossiou, Ioannis, 2011. "Vignette Equivalence and Response Consistency: The Case of Job Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 6174, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Dagenais, Marcel G. & Dagenais, Denyse L., 1997. "Higher moment estimators for linear regression models with errors in the variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1-2), pages 193-221.
  16. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  17. Pakes, Ariel, 1982. "On the Asymptotic Bias of Wald-Type Estimators of a Straight Line When Both Variables Are Subject to Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(2), pages 491-97, June.
  18. Bruno S Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "What are the sources of happiness?," Economics working papers 2000-27, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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