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Understanding fixed effects in human well-being

  • Boyce, Christopher J.
Registered author(s):

    In studies of subjective well-being, economists and other researchers typically use a fixed or random effect estimation to control for unobservable heterogeneity across individuals. Such individual heterogeneity, although substantially reducing the estimated effect of many characteristics, is little understood. This paper shows that personality measures can account for 20% of this heterogeneity and a further 13% can be accounted for by other observable between-person information. This paper then demonstrates that the use of personality measures, in a new technique developed by [Plumper, T., Troeger, V.E. (2007). Efficient estimation of time-invariant and rarely changing variables in finite sample panel analyses with unit fixed effects, Political Analysis, 15(2), 124-139.], can help researchers obtain improved estimates for important characteristics such as marital status, disability and income. The paper argues that this has important practical implications.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 1-16

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:1:p:1-16
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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    15. Alison L. Booth & Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-time Work Puzzle," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1000, The University of Melbourne.
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    20. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
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    23. Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ian Carter & Keith Dowding & Francesco Guala & Martin Van Hees, 2009. "The Development of Capability Indicators," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 125-152.
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