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Does relative material wealth matter for child and adolescent life satisfaction?

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  • Hudson, Eibhlin

Abstract

There is a substantial literature examining the impact of relative wealth or income on adult subjective well-being. Yet the relationship between relative wealth and the subjective well-being of children and adolescents remains largely unknown. This study examines the role of relative (peer) wealth in determining youth life satisfaction. Examining this relationship in the young is advantageous as children and adolescents have limited influence on their socio-economic status. Using school fixed effects, peer groups defined at the school-grade level are likely to be partially exogenous as the student's grade is largely determined by year of birth. The results suggest that relative wealth is negatively associated with life satisfaction, though mainly for males.

Suggested Citation

  • Hudson, Eibhlin, 2013. "Does relative material wealth matter for child and adolescent life satisfaction?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 38-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:46:y:2013:i:c:p:38-47 DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2013.06.007
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    Keywords

    Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Comparison wealth; Reference groups;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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