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An Examination of the Dynamics of Happiness Using Vector Autoregressions

  • Martin Binder

    ()

  • Alex Coad

    ()

We use a panel vector autoregressions model to examine the coevolution of changes in happiness and changes in income, health, marital status as well as employment status for the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data set. This technique allows us to simultaneously analyze the impact of the aforementioned factors on each other. We find that increases in happiness are associated with subsequent increases in income, marriage, employment, and health variables, while increases in the these life-domain variables (except health) tend to be followed by decreases in happiness in subsequent periods, suggesting adaptation dynamics in all domains. These findings are quite robust to different model specifications.

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Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2009-04.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2009-04
Contact details of provider: Postal: Deutschhausstrasse 10, 35032 Marburg
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  1. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
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  6. Gardner, Jonathan & Andrew Oswald, 2002. "Does Money Buy Happiness? A Longitudinal Study Using Data on Windfalls," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 81, Royal Economic Society.
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  8. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, . "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IEW - Working Papers 143, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Kate Antonovics & Robert Town, 2004. "Are All the Good Men Married? Uncovering the Sources of the Marital Wage Premium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 317-321, May.
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  13. Graham, Carol & Eggers, Andrew & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2004. "Does happiness pay?: An exploration based on panel data from Russia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 319-342, November.
  14. 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).
  15. Shiv, Baba & Huber, Joel, 2000. " The Impact of Anticipating Satisfaction on Consumer Choice," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 202-16, September.
  16. Wadsworth, M.E.J & Montgomery, S.M & Bartley, M.J, 1999. "The persisting effect of unemployment on health and social well-being in men early in working life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(10), pages 1491-1499, May.
  17. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Jeffrey S. Gray, 1997. "The Fall in Men's Return to Marriage: Declining Productivity Effects or Changing Selection?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 481-504.
  19. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
  20. Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the process of firms’ entry, survival and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 455-488, June.
  21. Alex Coad, 2007. "Exploring the "mechanics" of firm growth : evidence from a short-panel VAR," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne r07037, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  22. van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1991. "Ordinal and cardinal utility : An integration of the two dimensions of the welfare concept," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 69-89, October.
  23. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew, 2004. "How is mortality affected by money, marriage, and stress?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1181-1207, November.
  24. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
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