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The Effects of Wealth and Income on Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being

  • BRUCE HEADEY
  • MARK WOODEN

The accepted view among psychologists and, increasingly, economists is that household income has statistically significant but only small effects on measures of subjective well-being. Income, however, is clearly an imperfect measure of the economic circumstances of households. Using data drawn from the 2002 wave of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, this paper demonstrates that wealth, which can be viewed as providing a degree of economic security, is at least as important to well-being and ill-being as income. Copyright � 2004 Economic Society of Australia..

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Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal The Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 80 (2004)
Issue (Month): s1 (09)
Pages: S24-S33

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:80:y:2004:i:s1:p:s24-s33
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  1. Randolph Mullis, 1992. "Measures of economic well-being as predictors of psychological well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 119-135, March.
  2. Mike Shields & Mark Wooden, 2003. "Investigating the Role of Neighbourhood Characteristics in Determining Life Satisfaction," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Bruce Headey & Mark Wooden & Gary Marks, 2004. "The Structure and Distribution of Household Wealth in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n12, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
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  12. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
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  15. Bruce Headey & Jonathan Kelley & Alex Wearing, 1993. "Dimensions of mental health: Life satisfaction, positive affect, anxiety and depression," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 63-82, May.
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