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Life satisfaction and age: Dealing with underidentification in age-period-cohort models

Listed author(s):
  • de Ree, Joppe
  • Alessie, Rob

Recent literature typically finds a U shaped relationship between life satisfaction and age. Age profiles, however, are not identified without forcing arbitrary restrictions on the cohort and/or time profiles. In this paper we report what can be identified about the relationship between life satisfaction and age without applying such restrictions. Also, we identify the restrictions needed to conclude that life satisfaction is U shaped in age. For the case of Germany, we find that the relationship between life satisfaction and age is indeed U shaped, but only under the untestable condition that the linear time trend is negative and that the linear trend across birth cohorts is practically flat.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953611002450
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 177-182

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:1:p:177-182
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  1. Arthur A. Stone & Joseph E. Schwartz & Joan E. Broderick & Angus Deaton, 2010. "A snapshot of the age distribution of psychological well-being in the United States," Working Papers 1230, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. repec:pri:cheawb:stone_schwartz_broderick_deaton_snapshot_of_the_age_distribution_of_psych is not listed on IDEAS
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  5. David J. McKenzie, 2006. "Disentangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects in the Additive Model," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(4), pages 473-495, 08.
  6. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2009. "Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Glenn, Norval, 2009. "Is the apparent U-shape of well-being over the life course a result of inappropriate use of control variables? A commentary on Blanchflower and Oswald (66: 8, 2008, 1733-1749)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 481-485, August.
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  10. Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542.
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  13. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
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