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Relative income, absolute income and the life satisfaction of older adults: do retirees differ from the non-retired?

Listed author(s):
  • Umar M. A. Boodoo
  • Rafael Gomez
  • Morley Gunderson

We examine life-satisfaction of older adults using a representative sample of Canadian individuals aged 45+. Our findings confirm a long line of employment relations research on the importance of ‘relational concerns’ in that: (i) income relative to the average for a given person's gender, age, region and marital status (relative income) matters more in improving life satisfaction as a whole than does absolute personal income; (ii) the relationship between relative income and happiness is much stronger for the non-retired than retired persons, likely reflecting the importance of comparisons among peers at the workplace; and (3) absolute personal income does have a small positive relationship with life satisfaction but only for retirees and not for the non-retired.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/irj.12052
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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Industrial Relations Journal.

Volume (Year): 45 (2014)
Issue (Month): 4 (07)
Pages: 281-299

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Handle: RePEc:bla:indrel:v:45:y:2014:i:4:p:281-299
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