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An Empirical Investigation into the Determinants and Persistence of Happiness and Life Evaluation

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  • Paweł Chrostek

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to compare the correlates of two types of well-being: happiness and life evaluation. Analysis is based on data from the social diagnosis survey conducted in Poland between 2003 and 2011. The measure of happiness is defined in terms of how one assesses one’s life in recent times. Life evaluation refers to the perception of satisfaction with one’s life as a whole. Particular attention is devoted to the relationship between current and past well-being. We have found that higher levels of past well-being are associated with higher levels of current well-being. Additionally, in order to examine differences between happiness and life evaluation, a distinction is made between temporary and permanent changes in determinants of well-being. Temporary changes in one’s health, employment status, and income are more closely related to changes in one’s happiness than life evaluation. The reverse is observed for permanent changes. In the case of a permanent change in religiosity and a temporary change in number of friends, a significant correlation with well-being is independent of its type. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Paweł Chrostek, 2016. "An Empirical Investigation into the Determinants and Persistence of Happiness and Life Evaluation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 413-430, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:17:y:2016:i:1:p:413-430
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-014-9601-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michal Brzezinski, 2017. "Diagnosing unhappiness dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hedonic adaptation; Subjective well-being; Determinants of happiness; D0; I31;

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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