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What Is the Value of (My and My Family's) Good Health?

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  • Luiz de Mello
  • Erwin R. Tiongson

Abstract

This paper uses several waves of the General Social Survey (GSS) including data for up to about 32,000 individuals to estimate the effect of a variety of health conditions on happiness. We show that healthy people are in general happier than individuals with poor health, controlling for a number of personal and household characteristics. On the basis of the regression results, we computed the monetary value of good health, suggesting that relatively large sums of money would be required to compensate individuals for the loss in happiness associated with poor health. Finally, we show that people become unhappy when the health status of their loved ones deteriorates. In particular, the compensating value associated with a spouse's poor health can be very large, thus pointing to some altruism in the relationship between health status and happiness. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Luiz de Mello & Erwin R. Tiongson, 2009. "What Is the Value of (My and My Family's) Good Health?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 594-610, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:62:y:2009:i:4:p:594-610
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yoonjoo Lee & Sandra L. Hofferth & Sarah M. Flood & Kimberly Fisher, 2016. "Reliability, Validity, and Variability of the Subjective Well-Being Questions in the 2010 American Time Use Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 1355-1373, April.
    2. repec:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_eej.2015.46 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Emmanouil Mentzakis & Paul McNamee & Mandy Ryan & Matthew Sutton, 2012. "Valuing Informal Care Experience: Does Choice of Measure Matter?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 169-184, August.
    4. repec:spr:ariqol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11482-016-9473-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. France Weaver & Judite Goncalves & Valerie-Anne Ryser, 2015. "Socioeconomic inequalities in subjective well-being among the 50+: contributions of income and health," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 15011, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    6. Simona Rasciute & Paul Downward, 2010. "Health or Happiness? What Is the Impact of Physical Activity on the Individual?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 256-270, May.
    7. Vincenzo Carrieri, 2012. "Social Comparison And Subjective Well‐Being: Does The Health Of Others Matter?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 31-55, January.
    8. Lars Thiel, 2014. "Illness and Health Satisfaction: The Role of Relative Comparisons," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 695, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Ming-Chang Tsai & Heng-Hao Chang & Wan-chi Chen, 2012. "Globally Happy: Individual Globalization, Expanded Capacities, and Subjective Wellbeing," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 108(3), pages 509-524, September.
    10. Paul Downward & Simona Rasciute, 2011. "An Economic Analysis of the Subjective Health and Well-being of Physical Activity," Chapters,in: The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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