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The Rising Well-Being of the Young

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  • Blanchflower, D.G.
  • Oswald, A.J.

Abstract

Many observers believe that times are growing harder for young people in Western society. This paper looks at the evidence and finds that conventional wisdom appears to be wrong. Using the U.S. General Social Surveys and the Eurobarometer Surveys, the paper studies the reports happiness and life-satisfaction score of random samples of young men and women. The data cover the USA and thirteen European Countries. Our main finding is that from the 1970s to the 1990s the well-being of the young increased quite markedly. A number of possible explanations are considered.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 519.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:519

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Keywords: YOUTH ; SOCIAL WELFARE;

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References

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  1. David Blanchflower, 1996. "Youth Labour Markets in 23 Countries: A Comparison Using Micro Data," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp0284, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Randolph Mullis, 1992. "Measures of economic well-being as predictors of psychological well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 119-135, March.
  5. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
  6. Doh Shin, 1980. "Does rapid economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 199-221, June.
  7. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  8. Björklund, Anders, 1984. "Unemployment and Mental Health: Some Evidence from Panel Data," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 120, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Robin Douthitt & Maurice Macdonald & Randolph Mullis, 1992. "The relationship between measures of subjective and economic well-being: A new look," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 407-422, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  12. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  13. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
  14. David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations," NBER Working Papers 4740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Oswald, Andrew J., 1983. "Altruism, jealousy and the theory of optimal non-linear taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-87, February.
  16. Craig Fox & Daniel Kahneman, 1992. "Correlations, causes and heuristics in surveys of life satisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 221-234, November.
  17. Boskin, Michael J & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601, November.
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