Pain at the pump: Gasoline prices and subjective well-being
In recent years, there has been growing interest in the health implications of rising gasoline prices. This paper considers the impact of gasoline prices on subjective well-being, as captured by survey questions on happiness and life satisfaction. Using rich data from the DDB Worldwide Communications Life Style™ survey, we document a negative relationship between gasoline prices and self-reported life satisfaction over the period 1985–2005. The estimated reduction in well-being, moreover, is found to be nearly twice as large among groups of likely car owners. Interestingly, although rising gasoline prices lead to an immediate deterioration in subjective well-being, analyses of lagged prices suggest that well-being almost fully rebounds 1year later and changes very little each year thereafter. Our contemporaneous estimates imply that rising gasoline prices generate well-being losses comparable to faltering labor market conditions, and likely offset some of the physical health benefits found in previous research.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Steven Raphael & Lorien Rice, 2000.
"Car Ownership, Employment, and Earnings,"
JCPR Working Papers
179, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Brons, Martijn & Nijkamp, Peter & Pels, Eric & Rietveld, Piet, 2008. "A meta-analysis of the price elasticity of gasoline demand. A SUR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2105-2122, September.
- Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008.
"Happiness Inequality in the United States,"
NBER Working Papers
14220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Happiness Inequality in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3624, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Happiness Inequality in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 6929, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996.
"Are Recessions Good For Your Health?,"
NBER Working Papers
5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Courtemanche, Charles, 2008.
"A Silver Lining? The Connection Between Gasoline Prices and Obesity,"
09-1, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics, revised 01 Jan 2009.
- Charles Courtemanche, 2011. "A Silver Lining? The Connection Between Gasoline Prices And Obesity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 935-957, 07.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999.
"The macroeconomics of happiness,"
ZEI Working Papers
B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
- Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
- Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2007.
"The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2724, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," Working Papers 64, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," NBER Working Papers 13027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002.
"Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?,"
NBER Working Papers
8872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sen, Bisakha, 2011. "Is There An Association Between Gasoline Prices & Physical Activity?Evidence from American Time Use Data," MPRA Paper 31229, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001.
"What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
503, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Herbst, Chris M., 2011. "‘Paradoxical’ decline? Another look at the relative reduction in female happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 773-788.
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
- Charles, Kerwin Kofi & DeCicca, Philip, 2008. "Local labor market fluctuations and health: Is there a connection and for whom?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1532-1550, December.
- J.J. Ehrhardt & W.E. Saris & R. Veenhoven, 2000. "Stability of Life-satisfaction over Time," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 177-205, June.
- John Pucher & John Renne, 2005. "Rural mobility and mode choice: Evidence from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey," Transportation, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 165-186, 03.
- Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
- Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman & Shin-Yi Chou, 2005.
"The Super Size of America: An Economic Estimation of Body Mass Index and Obesity in Adults,"
NBER Working Papers
11584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Inas Rashad & Michael Grossman & Shin-Yi Chou, 2006. "The Super Size of America: An Economic Estimation of Body Mass Index and Obesity in Adults," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 133-148, Winter.
- 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.
- Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
- Li, Shanjun & Liu, Yanyan & Zhang, Junjie, 2011. "Lose some, save some: Obesity, automobile demand, and gasoline consumption," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 52-66, January.
- Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Subjective Well-Being as Welfare Measure: Concepts and Methodology," MPRA Paper 16619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:72:y:2012:i:2:p:160-175. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.