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What predicts a successful life? A life-course model of well-being

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Author Info

  • Richard Layard

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Andrew Clark

    (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

  • Nattavudh Powdthavee
  • Francesca Cornaglia

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 Sciences Po Departement of Economics in its series Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers with number 2013-16.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6ggbvnr6munghes9oc90kh192

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Web page: http://econ.sciences-po.fr/
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Related research

Keywords: Well-being; Life-satisfaction; Intervention; Model; Life-course; Emotional health; Conduct; Intellectual performance; Success;

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References

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  1. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Nicholas A. Christakis & Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & James H. Fowler & Bruno S. Frey, 2012. "Genes, Economics and Happiness," CEP Discussion Papers dp1127, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  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. 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).
  5. Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
  6. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  7. 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.
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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
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Layard, 2013. "Mental Health: The New Frontier for Labour Economics," CEP Discussion Papers dp1213, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Dan Chisholm & Richard Layard & Vikram Patel & Shekhar Saxena, 2013. "Mental Illness and Unhappiness," CEP Discussion Papers dp1239, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00814659 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D’Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi, 2013. "Poverty and Well-Being: Panel Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 291, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  6. 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).

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