How Well Do Individuals Predict Their Future Life Satisfaction? Rationality and Learning Following a Nationwide Exogenous Shock
Over recent years a number of papers have uses individual or household longitudinal survey data to investigate the rationality of income expectations. In this paper we provide a novel contribution to this literature by examining the ability of individuals to correctly predict their own future life satisfaction using longitudinal data for East Germans. The environment in which this analysis is based is the decade following reunification of Germany, and it is generally accepted that reunification was completely unexpected and delivered a particularly large shock to the future prospects of the inhabitants of the former East Germany. We therefore take it as a 'natural' experiment through which to study the rationality of expectations and the adjustment of expectations over a period of substantial transition. Our results show that the majority of East Germans significantly over-estimated the gains from reunification. As with the recent literature on income expectations, we find strong evidence of micro-heterogeneity with the largest prediction errors being for the young, the poorly educated and those with children. An important result, however is that expectations and realisations of life satisfaction in East Germany had essentially converged only five years after reunification, at a level considerably below that of West Germans.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: +61 2 6125 3807|
Phone: +61 2 6125 3807
Fax: +61 2 6125 0744
Web page: http://rse.anu.edu.au/cepr.php
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lovell, Michael C, 1986. "Tests of the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 110-124, March.
- Gerlach, Knut & Stephan, Gesine, 1996. "A paper on unhappiness and unemployment in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 325-330, September.
- Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1999.
"A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 409-426, December.
- Das, J.W.M. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1996. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Other publications TiSEM a6683363-b5a6-4fe7-b062-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Das, J.W.M. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1996. "A Panel Data Model for Subjective Information on Household Income Growth," Discussion Paper 1996-75, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness,"
ZEI Working Papers
B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
- Bonham, Carl S & Cohen, Richard H, 2001.
"To Aggregate, Pool, or Neither: Testing the Rational-Expectations Hypothesis Using Survey Data,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 278-291, July.
- Carl S Bonham & Richard H Cohen, 2000. "To Aggregate, Pool, or Neither: Testing the Rational Expectations Hypothesis Using Survey Data," Working Papers 200003, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001.
"Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve,"
NBER Working Papers
8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- John F. Helliwell, 2002.
"How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being,"
NBER Working Papers
9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
- Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001.
"Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment,"
London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-241, May.
- Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
- McAleer, M. & Smith, J., 1990.
"Alternative Procedures for Converting Qualitative Response Data to Quantitative Expectations: An Application to Australian Manufacturing,"
219, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
- Smith, Jeremy & McAleer, Michael, 1995. "Alternative Procedures for Converting Qualitative Response Data to Quantitative Expectations: An Application to Australian Manufacturing," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 165-185, April-Jun.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, "undated".
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
IEW - Working Papers
015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-735, September.
- Oswald, A.J., 1997.
"Happiness and Economic Performance,"
18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Carl S Bonham & Richard H Cohen, 2000. "Testing the Rational Expectations Hypothesis using Survey Data," Working Papers 200007, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
- Roberts, John M., 1997.
"Is inflation sticky?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 173-196, July.
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. van Praag, 2002.
"The subjective costs of health losses due to chronic diseases. An alternative model for monetary appraisal,"
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(8), pages 709-722.
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M. S. van Praag, 2001. "The Subjective Costs of Health Losses Due to Chronic Diseases: An Alternative Model for Monetary Appraisal," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 262, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Marjorie A. Flavin, 1991. "The Joint Consumption/Asset Demand Decision: A Case Study in Robust Estimation," NBER Working Papers 3802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-984, November.
- Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Saving and income smoothing: Evidence from panel data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1251-1279, July.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:468. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.