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Happy talk: mode of administration effects on subjective well-being

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  • Dolan, Paul
  • Kavetsos, Georgios

Abstract

Research on the measurement of subjective well-being (SWB) has escalated in recent years. This study contributes to the literature by examining how SWB reports differ by mode of survey administration. Using data from the 2011 Annual Population Survey in the UK, we find that individuals consistently report higher SWB over the phone compared to face-to-face interviews. We also show that the determinants of SWB differ significantly by survey mode. We must therefore account for mode of administration effects in research into SWB and its determinants.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolan, Paul & Kavetsos, Georgios, 2012. "Happy talk: mode of administration effects on subjective well-being," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 45273, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:45273
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    3. Milena Nikolova & Carol Graham, 2014. "Employment, late-life work, retirement, and well-being in Europe and the United States," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, December.
    4. Setareh Ranjbar & Stefan Sperlich, 2020. "A Note on Empirical Studies of Life-Satisfaction: Unhappy with Semiparametrics?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(6), pages 2193-2212, August.
    5. Rémy Le Boennec & Sterenn Lucas, 2020. "Does a positive density perception increase the probability of living in the ideal housing type? Evidence from the Loire-Atlantique Département in France," Working Papers hal-02441513, HAL.
    6. Tineke DeJonge & Ruut Veenhoven & Wim Kalmijn & Lidia Arends, 2016. "Pooling Time Series Based on Slightly Different Questions About the Same Topic Forty Years of Survey Research on Happiness and Life Satisfaction in The Netherlands," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(2), pages 863-891, March.
    7. John F. Helliwell, 2019. "Measuring and Using Happiness to Support Public Policies," NBER Working Papers 26529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Boris Nikolaev & Nadav Shir & Johan Wiklund, 2020. "Dispositional Positive and Negative Affect and Self-Employment Transitions: The Mediating Role of Job Satisfaction," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 44(3), pages 451-474, May.
    9. Graham, Carol & Nikolova, Milena, 2013. "Does access to information technology make people happier? Insights from well-being surveys from around the world," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 126-139.
    10. Nikolova, Elena & Sanfey, Peter, 2016. "How much should we trust life satisfaction data? Evidence from the Life in Transition Survey," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 720-731.
    11. Pablo Diego-Rosell & Robert Tortora & James Bird, 2018. "International Determinants of Subjective Well-Being: Living in a Subjectively Material World," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 123-143, January.
    12. Graham, Carol & Nikolova, Milena, 2015. "Bentham or Aristotle in the Development Process? An Empirical Investigation of Capabilities and Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 163-179.
    13. Ádám Stefkovics & Endre Sik, 2022. "What Drives Happiness? The Interviewer’s Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 23(6), pages 2745-2762, August.
    14. Chadi, Adrian, 2013. "Third Person Effects in Interview Responses on Life Satisfaction," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(2), pages 323-333.
    15. Conal Smith & Christopher Mackie, 2015. "Conceptualizing Subjective Well-Being and its Many Dimensions – Implications for Data Collection in Official Statistics and for Policy Relevance," Statistics in Transition new series, Główny Urząd Statystyczny (Polska), vol. 16(3), pages 335-372, September.
    16. Christopher Mackie & Conal Smith, 2015. "Conceptualizing Subjective Well-Being And Its Many Dimensions – Implications For Data Collection In Official Statistics And For Policy Relevance," Statistics in Transition New Series, Polish Statistical Association, vol. 16(3), pages 335-372, September.
    17. Gil Hersch, 2018. "Ignoring Easterlin: Why Easterlin’s Correlation Findings Need Not Matter to Public Policy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(8), pages 2225-2241, December.
    18. Nikolova, Milena, 2016. "Happiness and Development," IZA Discussion Papers 10088, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Carol Graham, 2005. "The Economics of Happiness," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(3), pages 41-55, July.
    20. Giorgio Piccitto & Aart C. Liefbroer & Tom Emery, 2022. "Does the Survey Mode Affect the Association Between Subjective Well-being and its Determinants? An Experimental Comparison Between Face-to-Face and Web Mode," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 23(7), pages 3441-3461, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective well-being; happiness; survey mode;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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