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Rain or shine: Happiness and risk-taking

Author

Listed:
  • Guven, Cahit
  • Hoxha, Indrit

Abstract

In this paper, we focus on the effects of weather, such as sunshine, as an exogenous shifter of happiness using happiness data at the individual level, and estimate sunshine as a predictor of happiness. Then we relate the predicted happiness to risk-taking. By doing so, we estimate a relationship, stronger than a simple correlation, between happiness and risky behavior. Weather changes, and sunshine in particular, have substantial influences on personal happiness. However, unexpected weather changes appear to be more important than expected changes for happiness. We include several risk measures such as subjective risk-taking and financial assets in our analysis. Happier people appear to be more risk-averse in general and more specifically in financial decisions, and choose accordingly safer investments. This might be explained by the fact that happy people take more time for making decisions and have more self-control. In addition, predicted happiness affects expectations about longevity and inflation. Happy people expect to live longer and accordingly seem more concerned about the future than the present, and expect less inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Guven, Cahit & Hoxha, Indrit, 2015. "Rain or shine: Happiness and risk-taking," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:57:y:2015:i:c:p:1-10
    DOI: 10.1016/j.qref.2014.10.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jo Thori Lind, 2019. "Spurious weather effects," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 322-354, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Lane, Tom, 2017. "How does happiness relate to economic behaviour? A review of the literature," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 62-78.
    4. Jo Thori Lind, 2015. "Spurious Weather Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 5365, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Risk-taking; Weather; Sunshine; Self-control; Expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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