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A lifecycle perspective of stock market performance and wellbeing

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  • Frijters, Paul
  • Johnston, David W.
  • Shields, Michael A.
  • Sinha, Kompal

Abstract

We estimate the effect of stock market fluctuations on subjective wellbeing and mental health using Australian survey data over the period 2001–2012, which includes the global financial crisis. A particular innovation of the paper is the use of three satisfaction measures – overall, financial, employment – and the use of a stylised lifecycle investment model. These features, coupled with a robust identification strategy based on comparing survey respondents interviewed in the same quarter and location, allow us to better understand individual reactions to stock market changes. We find that stock market increases lead to a significant but modest improvements in life satisfaction and mental health. This effect is driven by young and middle-aged males, and is stronger for those with direct exposure to the stock market. For young cohorts, the stock market index acts as a leading indicator of employment prospects, whilst for older cohorts it acts directly on financial satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Sinha, Kompal, 2015. "A lifecycle perspective of stock market performance and wellbeing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 237-250.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:112:y:2015:i:c:p:237-250
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.004
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