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Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges

  • Oswald, Andrew J.
  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

This paper is an empirical study of partial hedonic adaptation. It provides longitudinal evidence that people who become disabled go on to exhibit considerable recovery in mental well-being. In fixed-effects equations we estimate the degree of hedonic adaptation at -- depending on the severity of the disability -- approximately 30% to 50%. Our calculations should be viewed as illustrative; more research, on other data sets, is needed. Nevertheless, we discuss potential implications of our results for economists and the courts.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(08)00008-X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (June)
Pages: 1061-1077

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:5-6:p:1061-1077
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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