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Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well-being: Results from Four Data Sets

Listed author(s):
  • Cheng, Terence C.

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    (London School of Economics)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (University of Warwick and CAGE)

There is a large amount of cross-sectional evidence for a midlife low in the life cycle of human happiness and well-being (a ‘U shape’). Yet no genuinely longitudinal inquiry has uncovered evidence for a U-shaped pattern. Thus some researchers believe the U is a statistical artefact. We re-examine this fundamental cross-disciplinary question. We suggest a new test. Drawing on four data sets, and only within-person changes in well-being, we document powerful support for a U-shape in unadjusted longitudinal data without the need for regression equations. The paper’s methodological contribution is to exploit the first-derivative

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/187-2014_oswald.pdf
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Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 187.

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Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:187
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  1. D. Kuang & B. Nielsen & J. P. Nielsen, 2008. "Forecasting with the age-period-cohort model and the extended chain-ladder model," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 95(4), pages 987-991.
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