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Homeostasis and Well Being

Author

Listed:
  • Malcolm Dowling

    (SMU)

  • Yap Chin-Fang

Abstract

The paper suggests that maintenance of a homeostatic equilibrium provides a rationale for many actions of economic agents. Homeostatic equilibrium has physical, economic, emotional, psychological and environmental dimensions. The characteristics of this equilibrium include feelings of safety, trust, connectedness with friends, family and community, and a predictable and welcoming social and work environment. Individuals generally make decisions that help them move toward and achieve this state of equilibrium. Departure from homeostasis reduces well being and stimulates agents to take actions that will return them to a state of homeostasis. This hypothesis is tested with probit analysis using sample responses from the four waves of the World Values Surveys conducted between 1980 and 2002. Results generally support the homeostasis hypothesis. Variables that reflect departure from homeostasis such as divorce and poor health are highly significant, pointing to a reduction in well being. Variables that reflect the importance of friends, family, a trusting social and work environment have significant impacts to raise well being.

Suggested Citation

  • Malcolm Dowling & Yap Chin-Fang, 2006. "Homeostasis and Well Being," Development Economics Working Papers 22077, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:22077
    as

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    File URL: http://www.eaber.org/node/22077
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gibson, Barbara E. & Secker, Barbara & Rolfe, Debbie & Wagner, Frank & Parke, Bob & Mistry, Bhavnita, 2012. "Disability and dignity-enabling home environments," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 211-219.
    2. Th√łgersen, John, 2017. "Housing-related lifestyle and energy saving: A multi-level approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 73-87.

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    Keywords

    Homeostatic equilibrium; development;

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