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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. Paul Frijters & Tony Beatton, 2008. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," NCER Working Paper Series 26, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  2. Wunder, Christoph & Wiencierz, Andrea & Schwarze, Johannes & Küchenhoff, Helmut & Kleyer, Sara & Bleninger, Philipp, 2009. "Well-Being over the Life Span: Semiparametric Evidence from British and German Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Christoph Wunder & Andrea Wiencierz & Johannes Schwarze & Helmut Küchenhoff & Sara Kleyer & Philipp Bleninger, 2009. "Well-Being over the Life Span: Semiparametric Evidence from British and German Longitudinal Data," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 179, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Wencke Gwozdz & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2010. "Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 97(3), pages 397-417, July.
  5. repec:pri:cheawb:stone_schwartz_broderick_deaton_snapshot_of_the_age_distribution_of_psych is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Is Well-Being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," IZA Discussion Papers 3075, 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Orazio P. Attanasio, 1998. "Cohort Analysis of Saving Behavior by U.S. Households," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 575-609.
  10. David McKenzie, 2002. "Distangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects in the Additive Model," Working Papers 02009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  11. Orazio Attanasio, 1993. "A cohort analysis of saving behaviour by US households," IFS Working Papers W93/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  13. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-788, September.
  14. 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..
  15. Christoph Wunder & Andrea Wiencierz & Johannes Schwarze & Helmut Küchenhoff & Sara Kleyer & Philipp Bleninger, 2009. "Well-Being over the Life Span: Semiparametric Evidence from British and German Longitudinal Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 889, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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