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Asking About Changes in Happiness in a Daily Web Survey

  • Yoshiro Tsutsui
  • Fumio Ohtake

This paper investigates whether the level of happiness and integrated process of changes in happiness are the same. Using the daily data of two waves of four and six months each, we found that the level of happiness is stationary, whereas the integrated process of changes is non-stationary with a rising trend, implying that they are different series. An examination of the causes of the difference indicated that although adaptation completely influences the level of happiness, it only partially influences the change in happiness. This may be because the latter is based on a comparison between today and yesterday.

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File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2011/DP0813.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0813.

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Date of creation: 25 Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0813
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  1. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  4. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  5. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  6. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 2394, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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.
  8. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  9. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
  10. Christie Scollon & Chu Kim-Prieto & Ed Diener, 2003. "Experience Sampling: Promises and Pitfalls, Strengths and Weaknesses," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-34, March.
  11. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  13. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
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