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Some Like It Mild and Not Too Wet: The Influence of Weather on Subjective Well-Being

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  • Marie Connolly

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Abstract

More and more economists and politicians are advocating the use of comprehensive measures of well-being, on top of the usual national accounting measures, to assess the welfare of populations. Researchers using subjective well-being data should be aware of the potential biasing effects of the weather on their estimates. In this paper, the responsiveness of well-being to climate and transitory weather conditions is investigated by analyzing subjective well-being data collected in the Princeton Affect and Time Survey. General satisfaction questions about life in general, life at home, health and one’s job, as well as questions concerning feelings intensities during specific episodes are studied. Women are much more responsive than men to the weather, and life satisfaction decreases with the amount of rain on the day of the interview. Low temperatures increase happiness and reduce tiredness and stress, raising net affect, and high temperatures reduce happiness, consistent with the fact that the survey was conducted in the summer. Methods to reduce the possible biases are suggested in the conclusion. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Marie Connolly, 2013. "Some Like It Mild and Not Too Wet: The Influence of Weather on Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 457-473, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:2:p:457-473
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-012-9338-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Braga, Michela & Paccagnella, Marco & Pellizzari, Michele, 2014. "Evaluating students’ evaluations of professors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 71-88.
    2. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2017. "Unemployment, Marriage, and Divorce," MPRA Paper 80644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Geoffrey Heal & Jisung Park, 2013. "Feeling the Heat: Temperature, Physiology & the Wealth of Nations," NBER Working Papers 19725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Italo Colantone & Rosario Crinò & Laura Ogliari, 2015. "The Hidden Cost of Globalization: Import Competition and Mental Distress," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1511, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    5. Daniel Kuehnle & Christoph Wunder, 2016. "Using the Life Satisfaction Approach to Value Daylight Savings Time Transitions: Evidence from Britain and Germany," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2293-2323, December.
    6. Barrington-Leigh, Christopher & Behzadnejad, Fatemeh, 2017. "The impact of daily weather conditions on life satisfaction: Evidence from cross-sectional and panel data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 145-163.
    7. John V Winters & Yu Li, 2017. "Urbanisation, natural amenities and subjective well-being: Evidence from US counties," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(8), pages 1956-1973, June.
    8. Meng, Xin & Xue, Sen, 2017. "Social Networks and Mental Health Problems: Evidence from Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," IZA Discussion Papers 10481, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Claudia Schmiedeberg & Jette Schröder, 2014. "Does Weather Really Influence the Measurement of Life Satisfaction?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(2), pages 387-399, June.
    10. John Feddersen & Robert Metcalfe & Mark Wooden, 2012. "Subjective Well-Being: Weather Matters; Climate Doesn't," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n25, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    11. Arief Yusuf & Martin Daniel Siyaranamual & Aisyah Amatul Ghina & Megananda Suryana, 2016. "Climate and Happiness in the Tropics," ERSA conference papers ersa16p165, European Regional Science Association.
    12. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:10:p:1824-1835 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:pri:cepsud:157krueger is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Alan B. Krueger & Daniel Kahneman & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur A. Stone, 2009. "National Time Accounting: The Currency of Life," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations: National Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being, pages 9-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Nick Obradovich, 2017. "Climate change may speed democratic turnover," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 135-147, January.
    16. Rafael González-Val & Miriam Marcén, 2015. "Regional unemployment, marriage, and divorce," Working Papers 2015/38, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    17. Chen, Daniel L., 2016. "This Morning's Breakfast, Last Night's Game: Detecting Extraneous Factors in Judging," IAST Working Papers 16-49, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    18. Alan B. Krueger & Daniel Kahneman & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur A. Stone, 2008. "National Time Accounting: The Currency of Life," Working Papers 1061, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    19. Chen, Daniel L., 2016. "Mood and the Malleability of Moral Reasoning," TSE Working Papers 16-707, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Feb 2017.
    20. Berlin, Martin & Fors, Filip, 2017. "The Association Between Life Satisfaction and Affective Well-Being," Working Paper Series 1/2017, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    21. repec:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_eej.2015.48 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Happiness; Weather; Temperature; Precipitation;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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