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Perception and retrospection: The dynamic consistency of responses to survey questions on wellbeing

  • Pudney, Stephen

Implementation of broad approaches to welfare analysis usually entails the use of ‘subjective’ welfare indicators. We analyse BHPS data on financial wellbeing to determine whether reported current and retrospective perceptions are consistent with each other and with the existence of a common underlying wellbeing concept. We allow for adjustment of perceptions in a vector ARMA model for panel data, with dependent variables observed ordinally and find that current perceptions exhibit slow adjustment to changing circumstances and retrospective assessments of past wellbeing are heavily contaminated by current circumstances, causing significant bias in measures of the level and change in welfare.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 300-310

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:3:p:300-310
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1087-1093, August.
  2. Pudney, Stephen, 2006. "The dynamics of perception: modelling subjective well-being in a short panel," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-27, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis A & Ruud, Paul A., 1993. "Classical Estimation Methods for LDV Models Using Simulation," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3cg196fr, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  7. Henley, Andrew, 1998. "Changes in the Distribution of Housing Wealth in Great Britain, 1985-91," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(259), pages 363-80, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
  10. Pudney, Stephen & Francavilla, Francesca, 2006. "Income mis-measurement and the estimation of poverty rates: an analysis of income poverty in Albania," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-35, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  11. Erik Schokkaert, 2007. "Capabilities and Satisfaction with Life," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 415-430.
  12. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Identifying welfare effects from subjective questions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2301, The World Bank.
  13. Nicoletti, Cheti & Peracchi, Franco & Foliano, Francesca, 2007. "Estimating income poverty in the presence of measurement error and missing data problems," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  14. John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2008. "Housing markets and the economy: the assessment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 1-33, spring.
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