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Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis

  • Andrew E. Clark
  • Ed Diener
  • Yannis Georgellis
  • Richard E. Lucas

We look for evidence of habituation in twenty waves of German panel data: do individuals tend to return to some baseline level of well-being after life and labour market events? Although the strongest life satisfaction effect is often at the time of the event, we find significant lag and lead effects. We cannot reject the hypothesis of complete adaptation to marriage, divorce, widowhood, birth of child and layoff. However, there is little evidence of adaptation to unemployment for men. Men are somewhat more affected by labour market events (unemployment and layoffs) than are women but in general the patterns of anticipation and adaptation are remarkably similar by sex. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2008.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 529 (06)
Pages: F222-F243

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:529:p:f222-f243
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