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

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  • Semih Tumen
  • Tugba Zeydanli

Abstract

Individuals tend to self-report higher well-being levels on certain days of the week 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 uctuations". 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 Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey in its series Working Papers with number 1338.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:tcb:wpaper:1338

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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. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. 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, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 59-82, May.
  3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2007. "Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  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. 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, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics 397, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
  8. Robert Pollak, 2003. "Gary Becker's Contributions to Family and Household Economics," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 111-141, January.
  9. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  10. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  11. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  12. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  13. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  14. 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, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(1), pages 127-142.
  15. John Helliwell & Shun Wang, 2014. "Weekends and Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 389-407, April.
  16. Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
  17. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
  18. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Adrian Chadi, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," IAAEU Discussion Papers, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) 201403, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  2. 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.

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