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Testing Happiness Hypothesis among the Elderly

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Author Info

  • Alejandro Cid

    ()
    (Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Montevideo)

  • Daniel Ferrés

    ()
    (Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Montevideo)

  • Máximo Rossi

    ()
    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

Abstract

A growing strand of economic literature focuses its attention on the relationship between happiness levels and various individual and socioeconomic variables. Recent studies analyze the impact of income, marital status, health, educational levels and other socioeconomic variables on satisfaction with life. A large majority of these studies limit their attention to industrialized countries. In our work, we analyze data for a group of individuals living in a Latin American country (Uruguay) with age 60 or older. We use a rich data set that allows us to test different happiness hypothesis employing four methodological approaches. We find that older people in Uruguay have a tendency to report themselves happy when they are married, when they have higher standards of health and when they earn higher levels of income or they feel their income is suitable for their standard of living. On the contrary, they report lower levels of happiness when they live alone and when their nutrition is insufficient. We also find that education has no clear impact on happiness. We think that our study is an initial contribution to the study of those factors that can explain happiness among the elderly in Latin American countries. Future work will focus on enhanced empirical analysis and in extending our study to other countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics - dECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 1207.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:1207

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Keywords: Happiness; Health; Family; Censored Econometric Models; Semiparametric Methods; Treatment Evaluation;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1938, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Kenneth Y. Chay & James L. Powell, 2001. "Semiparametric Censored Regression Models," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 29-42, Fall.
  3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
  4. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Powell, James L, 1986. "Symmetrically Trimmed Least Squares Estimation for Tobit Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1435-60, November.
  6. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  8. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "The Relationship between Happiness, Health and Socio-economic Factors: Results Based on Swedish Micro Data," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 207, Stockholm School of Economics.
  9. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 Feb 2014.
  10. Honore, Bo E. & Powell, James L., 1994. "Pairwise difference estimators of censored and truncated regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 241-278.
  11. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Testing Theories of Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 147, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  13. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  14. Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Propensity score matching," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2001 12, Stata Users Group, revised 23 Aug 2001.
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Cited by:
  1. Mario García Molina & Liliana Alejandra Chicaíza Becerra, 2013. "Felicidad:¿reemplazar o mejorar la utilidad subjetiva?," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID.
  2. Mariana Gerstenbluth & Maximo Rossi, 2009. "¿Son más felices las personas saludables? La evidencia de Chile y Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 2509, Department of Economics - dECON.
  3. Alejandro Cid & Daniel Ferres & Máximo Rossi, 2008. "Subjective Well-Being in the Southern Cone: Health, Income and Family," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1308, Department of Economics - dECON.
  4. Mariana Gerstenbluth & Máximo Rossi & Patricia Trinunfo, 2008. "Felicidad y Salud una aproximación al bienestar en el Río de la Plata," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 35(1 Year 20), pages 65-78, June.
  5. repec:wyi:journl:002134 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. David Vázquez Guzman, 2012. "A comparative study of well-being for elders in Mexico and England," Estudios Regionales en Economía, Población y Desarrollo. Cuadernos de trabajo de la Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. 9, Cuerpo Académico 41 de la Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, revised 09 Dec 2012.

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