Moving Up and Sliding Down: An Empirical Assessment of the Effect of Social Mobility on Subjective Wellbeing
Many people remain in the same income group as their parents and this is a cause of much discussion and some concern. In this work, we examine how intergenerational mobility affects subjective wellbeing (SWB) using the British Cohort Study. Our SWB measures encapsulate life satisfaction and mental health. We find that relative income mobility is a significant predictor of life satisfaction and mental health whether people move upward or downward. For absolute income, mobility is only a predictor of SWB and mental health outcomes if the person moves downward. We also explore pathways through which income mobility can impact on these outcomes. In particular, we present evidence that suggests much of the effect of income mobility on SWB is due to changes in the perception of financial security. But those who slide down are still less satisfied with their lives over and above any effect of financial insecurity. Overall, there is an asymmetric effect of income mobility: the losses of sliding on down are larger than the gains of moving up.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP|
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.:
- Bruce Hollingsworth & Anthony Scott & Lucy Bechtel & Grace Lordan & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2012. "Income Inequality And Mental Health—Empirical Evidence From Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21, pages 4-17, 06.
- Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
- Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005.
"Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002, August.
- Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2003.
"Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe,"
Journal of Economic Psychology,
Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 329-348, June.
- Bernd Hayo & Wolfgang Seifert, 2002. "Subjective Economic Well-Being in Eastern Europe," Development and Comp Systems 0203001, EconWPA.
- Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2002. "Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe," IBES Diskussionsbeiträge 120, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Business and Economic Studie (IBES).
- Shea, John, 1995. "Union Contracts and the Life-Cycle/Permanent-Income Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 186-200, March.
- John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Intergenerational Mobility and Marital Sorting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 659-679, 07.
- Blanden, Jo & Gregg, Paul & Macmillan, Lindsey, 2007.
"Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C43-C60, 03.
- Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan & Lindsey Macmillan, 2006. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Non-Cognitive Skills, Ability and Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0073, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
- Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey MacMillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0307, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
- Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2006. "Accounting for intergenerational income persistence: non-cognitive skills, ability and education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19401, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
- Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, March.
- David Bowman & Deborah Minehart & Matthew Rabin, 1994.
"Loss aversion in a consumption/savings model,"
International Finance Discussion Papers
492, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- KNIGHT, John & SONG, Lina & GUNATILAKA, Ramani, 2009.
"Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China,"
China Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 635-649, December.
- John Knight & Lina Song, 2007. "Subjective Well-being and its Determinants in Rural China," Economics Series Working Papers 334, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010.
"Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
- Rafael Di Tella & John Haisken-De New & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness Adaptation to Income and to Status in an Individual Panel," NBER Working Papers 13159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008.
"Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
- Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges," IZA Discussion Papers 2208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Dolan, Paul & Metcalfe, Robert, 2012. "The relationship between innovation and subjective wellbeing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1489-1498.
- Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
- Bradford, W. David & Dolan, Paul, 2010. "Getting used to it: The adaptive global utility model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 811-820, December.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1190. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.