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Life Satisfaction in Australia: Evidence from Ten Years of the HILDA Survey

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  • Christopher Ambrey
  • Christopher Fleming

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Abstract

Employing data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, this paper examines the level, determinants and distribution of self-reported life satisfaction, as well as the prevalence and severity of dissatisfaction in Australia over the period 2001–2010. Against most objective measures Australia’s economic performance during this period was exemplary. Yet our results indicate a steady decline in life satisfaction from 2003 onwards, as well as a diminishing gap between the life satisfaction of males and females. Results also suggest that inequality in life satisfaction has generally declined. Geographic heterogeneity in the distribution of life satisfaction is apparent, and a number of socio-economic and demographic factors are found to serve an important role in determining an individual’s level of life satisfaction. Measures of the extent of dissatisfaction reveal an encouraging downward trend and provide policy makers with an alternative perspective from which to assess societal welfare. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming, 2014. "Life Satisfaction in Australia: Evidence from Ten Years of the HILDA Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 691-714, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:115:y:2014:i:2:p:691-714
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0228-0
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    1. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9771-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming & Matthew Manning, 2014. "Perception or Reality, What Matters Most When it Comes to Crime in Your Neighbourhood?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 877-896, November.
    3. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M. & Manning, Matthew, 2016. "The hedonistic cost of the Black Saturday bushfires," 2016 Conference (60th), February 2-5, 2016, Canberra, Australia 235236, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Lekfuangfu, Warn N. & Wooden, Mark, 2015. "What's the good of education on our overall quality of life? A simultaneous equation model of education and life satisfaction for Australia," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 10-21.
    5. Brown, Sarah & Durand, Robert B. & Harris, Mark N. & Weterings, Tim, 2014. "Modelling financial satisfaction across life stages: A latent class approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 117-127.
    6. Matthew Manning & Christopher L. Ambrey & Christopher M. Fleming, 2016. "A Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Wellbeing in Australia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2503-2525, December.

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