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Reversing the question: Does happiness affect consumption and savings behavior?

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  • Guven, Cahit

Abstract

This paper attempts to answer an interesting but empirically challenging question: Do changes in well-being (life satisfaction or happiness) lead to changes in consumption and savings behavior? The paper uses regional sunshine as an instrument for personal happiness using the Dutch Household Survey from the Netherlands. Sunshine improves happiness significantly. Instrumenting happiness with sunshine, happier people are found to save more, spend less, and have a lower marginal propensity to consume. Happier people take more time for making decisions and have more control over expenditures; they expect a longer life and (accordingly) seem more concerned about the future than the present; they also expect less inflation in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Guven, Cahit, 2012. "Reversing the question: Does happiness affect consumption and savings behavior?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 701-717.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:4:p:701-717
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.01.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Beja Jr., Edsel L., 2012. "What do happy people choose: rapid economic growth or stable economy?," MPRA Paper 38851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Popova, Olga, 2014. "Life (dis)satisfaction and the intention to migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 40-49.
    3. De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel & Oswald, Andrew J., 2012. "Estimating the influence of life satisfaction and positive affect on later income using sibling fixed-effects," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51523, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. repec:bof:bofitp:urn:nbn:fi:bof-201508181355 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:304-323 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Yulei Rao & Lixing Mei & Rui Zhu, 2016. "Happiness and Stock-Market Participation: Empirical Evidence from China," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 271-293, February.
    7. Delis, Manthos D. & Mylonidis, Nikolaos, 2015. "Trust, happiness, and households’ financial decisions," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 82-92.
    8. Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.
    9. Ozge Gokdemir, 2015. "Consumption, savings and life satisfaction: the Turkish case," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 62(2), pages 183-196, June.
    10. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2014. "Boldog-boldogtalan - a közpolitika szerepe
      [Happiness and unhappiness. The role of public policies]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1381-1396.
    11. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel & Diener, Ed & Tay, Louis & Xuereb, Cody, 2013. "The objective benefits of subjective well-being," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Schroyen, Fred & Aarbu, Karl Ove, 2017. "Attitudes towards large income risk in welfare states: an international comparison," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 20/2017, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    14. repec:eee:joepsy:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:29-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Ed Diener & Louis Tay & Cody Xuereb, 2013. "The Objective Benefits of Subjective Well-Being," CEP Discussion Papers dp1236, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    16. Vasilios Kosteas, 2015. "Physical activity and time preference," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 361-386, December.
    17. Rickardsson, Jonna & Mellander, Charlotta, 2017. "Absolute vs Relative Income and Life Satisfaction," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 451, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    18. Yulei Rao & Lixing Mei & Rui Zhu, 2016. "Happiness and Stock-Market Participation: Empirical Evidence from China," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 271-293, February.
    19. Haining Wang & Zhiming Cheng & Russell Smyth, 2015. "Does Consuming More Make You Happier? Evidence from Chinese Panel Data," Monash Economics Working Papers 29-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    20. Yeniaras, Volkan & Akkemik, K. Ali & Yucel, Eray, 2016. "Re-considering the linkage between the antecedents and consequences of happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 176-191.
    21. L. Lambert D’raven & N. Pasha-Zaidi, 2016. "Using the PERMA Model in the United Arab Emirates," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 905-933, February.
    22. Strulik, Holger, 2018. "An economic heory of depression and its impact on health behavior and longevity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 337, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    3920; Happiness; Savings; Consumption; Weather; Economic behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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