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Subjective wellbeing: why weather matters


  • John Feddersen
  • Robert Metcalfe
  • Mark Wooden


type="main" xml:id="rssa12118-abs-0001"> The paper reports results from the first ever study of the effect of short-term weather and long-term climate on self-reported life satisfaction that uses longitudinal data. We find robust evidence that day-to-day weather variation impacts self-reported life satisfaction. Utilizing two sources of variation in the cognitive complexity of satisfaction questions, we present evidence that weather effects arise because of the cognitive challenge of reporting life satisfaction. We do not detect a relationship between long-term climate and self-reported life satisfaction by using an individual fixed effects specification, which identifies climate impacts through individuals moving location.

Suggested Citation

  • John Feddersen & Robert Metcalfe & Mark Wooden, 2016. "Subjective wellbeing: why weather matters," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(1), pages 203-228, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:179:y:2016:i:1:p:203-228

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    4. Knight, S.J; Howley, P.;, 2017. "Can clean air make you happy? Examining the effect of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on life satisfaction," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
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    9. Ekaterina Oparina & Sorawoot Srisuma, 2022. "Analyzing Subjective Well-Being Data with Misclassification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 730-743, April.
    10. Bellet, Clément S. & De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel & Ward, George, 2019. "Does Employee Happiness Have an Impact on Productivity?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1905, CEPREMAP.
    11. Dolan, Paul & Kavetsos, Georgios & Krekel, Christian & Mavridis, Dimitris & Metcalfe, Robert & Senik, Claudia & Szymanski, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2019. "Quantifying the intangible impact of the Olympics using subjective well-being data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 1-1.
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    13. Alem, Yonas & Colmer, Jonathan, 2015. "Consumption smoothing and the welfare cost of uncertainty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 63816, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Richard E. Lucas, 2021. "Comparing global reports of subjective well-being to experiential measures," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 19(1), pages 67-89.
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    19. Yonas Alem & Jonathan Colmer, 2015. "Consumption smoothing and the welfare cost of uncertainty," GRI Working Papers 118b, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    20. Yonas Alem & Jonathan Colmer, 2015. "Consumption Smoothing and the Welfare Cost of Uncertainty," CEP Discussion Papers dp1369, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    21. Yonas Alem & Jonathan Colmer, 2015. "Consumption Smoothing and the Welfare Cost of Uncertainty," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 059, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    22. Shuai Zhang & Binbin Liu & Dajian Zhu & Mingwang Cheng, 2018. "Explaining Individual Subjective Well-Being of Urban China Based on the Four-Capital Model," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(10), pages 1-14, September.
    23. S. M. Iacus & G. Porro & S. Salini & E. Siletti, 2022. "An Italian Composite Subjective Well-Being Index: The Voice of Twitter Users from 2012 to 2017," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 471-489, June.
    24. Madlaina Niederhauser & Regula Zueger & Sandra Sefidan & Hubert Annen & Serge Brand & Dena Sadeghi-Bahmani, 2022. "Does Training Motivation Influence Resilience Training Outcome on Chronic Stress? Results from an Interventional Study," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(10), pages 1-14, May.

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