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Perception and retrospection: the dynamic consistency of responses to survey questions on wellbeing

  • Pudney, Stephen

Implementation of broad approaches to welfare analysis usually entails the use of 'subjective' welfare indicators. We analyse BHPS data on financial wellbeing to determine whether reported current and retrospective perceptions are consistent with each other and with the existence of a common underlying wellbeing concept. We allow for adjustment of perceptions in a vector ARMA model for panel data, with dependent variables observed ordinally and find that current perceptions exhibit slow adjustment to changing circumstances and retrospective assessments of past wellbeing are heavily contaminated by current circumstances, causing significant bias in measures of the level and change in welfare.

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File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2010-07.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2010-07.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2010
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2010-07
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  1. Stephen Pudney, 2008. "The dynamics of perception: modelling subjective wellbeing in a short panel," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 171(1), pages 21-40.
  2. Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou and Paul A. Ruud., 1993. "Classical Estimation Methods for LDV Models Using Simulation," Economics Working Papers 93-219, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Pudney, Stephen & Francavilla, Francesca, 2006. "Income mis-measurement and the estimation of poverty rates: an analysis of income poverty in Albania," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-35, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," NBER Working Papers 4937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1087-1093, August.
  6. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Identifying welfare effects from subjective questions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2301, The World Bank.
  7. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
  8. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
  9. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Loewenstein, George & Ubel, Peter A., 2008. "Hedonic adaptation and the role of decision and experience utility in public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1795-1810, August.
  11. Erik Schokkaert, 2007. "Capabilities and Satisfaction with Life," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 415-430.
  12. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ian Carter & Keith Dowding & Francesco Guala & Martin Van Hees, 2009. "The Development of Capability Indicators," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 125-152.
  14. Nicoletti, Cheti & Peracchi, Franco & Foliano, Francesca, 2007. "Estimating income poverty in the presence of measurement error and missing data problems," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  15. John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2008. "Housing markets and the economy: the assessment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 1-33, spring.
  16. Henley, Andrew, 1998. "Changes in the Distribution of Housing Wealth in Great Britain, 1985-91," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(259), pages 363-80, August.
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