IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jcecon/v44y2016i3p720-731.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How much should we trust life satisfaction data? Evidence from the Life in Transition Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Nikolova, Elena
  • Sanfey, Peter

Abstract

We analyse responses to two similar life satisfaction questions asked at different points in the same wave of a major cross-country household survey covering the transition region, Turkey and five Western European countries. We show that while the answers to the two questions are broadly consistent for most people, the responses for some groups differ significantly. Respondents of a lower socio-economic status and with a more favourable parental background show systematically higher levels of self-reported satisfaction in the later question. We also find evidence that responses to the later question are influenced by preceding questions on social capital. Our results have important implications for the design and length of household surveys that contain subjective questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolova, Elena & Sanfey, Peter, 2016. "How much should we trust life satisfaction data? Evidence from the Life in Transition Survey," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 720-731.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:3:p:720-731
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.11.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596715001122
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Sanfey & Utku Teksoz, 2007. "Does transition make you happy?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 707-731, October.
    2. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
    3. Sergei Guriev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2009. "(Un)happiness in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 143-168, Spring.
    4. Ori Heffetz & Matthew Rabin, 2013. "Conclusions Regarding Cross-Group Differences in Happiness Depend on Difficulty of Reaching Respondents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 3001-3021, December.
    5. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1087-1093, August.
    6. Senik, Claudia, 2009. "Direct evidence on income comparisons and their welfare effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 408-424, October.
    7. Cojocaru, Alexandru, 2014. "Fairness and inequality tolerance: Evidence from the Life in Transition Survey," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 590-608.
    8. Georgios Kavetsos & Marika Dimitriadou & Paul Dolan, 2014. "Measuring happiness: context matters," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 308-311, March.
    9. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    10. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    11. Paul Dolan & Georgios Kavetsos, 2016. "Happy Talk: Mode of Administration Effects on Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1273-1291, June.
    12. Alexandru Cojocaru & Mame Fatou Diagne, 2015. "How reliable and consistent are subjective measures of welfare in Europe and Central Asia?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(1), pages 75-103, January.
    13. Chadi, Adrian, 2013. "The role of interviewer encounters in panel responses on life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 550-554.
    14. Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2012. "Heresy or enlightenment? The well-being age U-shape effect is flat," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 235-238.
    15. Popova, Olga, 2014. "Can religion insure against aggregate shocks to happiness? The case of transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 804-818.
    16. János Kornai, 2006. "The great transformation of Central Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(2), pages 207-244, April.
    17. Claudia Senik, 2009. "Direct Evidence on Income Comparisons and their Welfare Effects," Post-Print hal-00696621, HAL.
    18. Dabalen, Andrew & Paul, Saumik, 2011. "History of events and life-satisfaction in transition countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5526, The World Bank.
    19. Ed Diener & Ronald Inglehart & Louis Tay, 2013. "Theory and Validity of Life Satisfaction Scales," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 112(3), pages 497-527, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:189:y:2017:i:c:p:25-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michal Brzezinski, 2017. "Diagnosing unhappiness dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    3. Ivlevs, Artjoms & Hinks, Timothy, 2018. "Former Communist Party Membership and Bribery in the Post-Socialist Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 11594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Petr Huber & Josef Montag, 2018. "Homeownership, Political Participation, and Social Capital in Post- Communist Countries and Western Europe," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2018-74, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life satisfaction; Measurement; Transition region;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:3:p:720-731. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.