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The happiness of economists: Estimating the causal effect of studying economics on subjective well-being

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  • Haucap, Justus
  • Heimeshoff, Ulrich

Abstract

This is the first paper that studies the causal effect of studying economics on subjective well being. Based on a survey among 918 students of economics and other social sciences, we estimate the effects of studying in the different fields on individual life satisfaction. Controlling for personal characteristics we apply innovative instrumental variable methods developed in labor and conflict economics. We find a positive relationship between the study of economics and individual well-being. Additionally, we also find that income and future job chances are the most important drivers of happiness for participants of our survey.

Suggested Citation

  • Haucap, Justus & Heimeshoff, Ulrich, 2014. "The happiness of economists: Estimating the causal effect of studying economics on subjective well-being," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 85-97.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ireced:v:17:y:2014:i:c:p:85-97
    DOI: 10.1016/j.iree.2014.08.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Piper, 2014. "Zukunftsangst! Fear of (and Hope for) the Future and Its Impact on Life Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 706, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Radek Janhuba, 2016. "Do Victories and Losses Matter? Effects of Football on Life Satisfaction," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp579, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Life satisfaction; Economists; Students; Economics education;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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