IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Structure of Happiness: A Vector Autoregressive Approach

  • Martin Binder

    ()

  • Felix Ward

Subjective well-being is a complex phenomenon coevolving with events in important domains of life. Panel vector autoregressions are a suitable tool to analyze the underlying structure of changes in happiness and its coevolution with changes in income, health, worries, marital status and employment status. With this technique we can simultaneously analyze the impact of the aforementioned factors on each other for the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data set. We find that positive changes in the named life domains are followed by decreases in subjective well-being (except for health, which is followed by well-being increases). Moreover, positive changes in well-being are followed by positive changes in most life domains. These findings are robust to different model specifications and comparable to similar findings for the British populace. We also examine how the structure of happiness differs with respect to different "Big Five" personality traits. Personality plays an important role, especially with regard to high traits of Neuroticism and Extraversion.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: ftp://137.248.191.199/RePEc/esi/discussionpapers/2011-08.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2011-08.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2011-08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Deutschhausstrasse 10, 35032 Marburg
Phone: 064212824257
Fax: 064212828950
Web page: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb19/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages F222-F243, 06.
  3. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," IZA Discussion Papers 2724, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Christian Bjornskov, 2003. "The Happy Few: Cross--Country Evidence on Social Capital and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 3-16, February.
  6. M. Binder & A. Coad, 2010. "An Examination of the Dynamics of Well-Being and Life Events using Vector Autoregressions," Post-Print hal-00870186, HAL.
  7. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
  8. Alex Coad, 2010. "Exploring the processes of firm growth: evidence from a vector auto-regression," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1677-1703, December.
  9. Leonardo Becchetti & Alessandra Pelloni & Fiammetta Rossetti, 2008. "Relational Goods, Sociability, and happiness," CEIS Research Paper 117, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
  10. André Lorentz & Maria Savona, 2010. "Structural Change and Business Cycles: An Evolutionary Approach," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-21, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  11. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  12. Bruce Headey, 2010. "The Set Point Theory of Well-Being Has Serious Flaws: On the Eve of a Scientific Revolution?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 7-21, May.
  13. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 101-115, Fall.
  14. 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.
  15. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 507-541, December.
  16. David W.Johnston & Carol Propper & Michael A.Shields, 2007. "Comparing Subjective and Objective Measures of Health: Evidence from Hypertension for the Income/Health Gradient," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/171, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  17. Anke C. Zimmermann & Richard A. Easterlin, 2006. "Happily Ever After? Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Happiness in Germany," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(3), pages 511-528.
  18. Richard E. Lucas & Andrew E. Clark, 2006. "Do people really adapt to marriage?," Post-Print halshs-00754117, HAL.
  19. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2008. "Happiness Adaptation to Income beyond "Basic Needs"," NBER Working Papers 14539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Anke Plagnol & Richard Easterlin, 2008. "Aspirations, Attainments, and Satisfaction: Life Cycle Differences Between American Women and Men," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 601-619, December.
  25. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  26. Richard E. Lucas & Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Ed Diener, 2002. "Unemployment Alters the Set-Point for Life Satisfaction," DELTA Working Papers 2002-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  27. Clark, Andrew E. & Georgellis, Yannis, 2012. "Back to Baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the BHPS," IZA Discussion Papers 6426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen Nickell, 2007. "The Marginal Utility of Income," CEP Discussion Papers dp0784, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  29. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data: Regression Discontinuity and related methods in Stata," North American Stata Users' Group Meetings 2007 2, Stata Users Group.
  30. Paul Frijters & David W. Johnston & Michael A. Shields, 2011. "Life Satisfaction Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 190-211, 03.
  31. Bottan, Nicolas Luis & Perez Truglia, Ricardo, 2011. "Deconstructing the hedonic treadmill: Is happiness autoregressive?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 224-236, May.
  32. Bruce Headey, 2008. "Life Goals Matter to Happiness: A Revision of Set-Point Theory," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 213-231, April.
  33. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  34. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2013. "Life satisfaction and self-employment: a matching approach," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 1009-1033, May.
  35. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
  36. Richard E. Lucas & Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Ed Diener, 2002. "Re-Examining Adaptation and the Setpoint Model of Happiness: Reactions to Changes in Marital Status," DELTA Working Papers 2002-08, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  37. Luigino Bruni & Luca Stanca, 2005. "Watching alone: Relational Goods, Television and Happiness," Working Papers 90, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  38. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  39. J.J. Ehrhardt & W.E. Saris & R. Veenhoven, 2000. "Stability of Life-satisfaction over Time," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 177-205, June.
  40. Alessio Moneta, 2005. "Causality in macroeconometrics: some considerations about reductionism and realism," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 433-453.
  41. 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.
  42. Binder, Martin & Coad, Alex, 2011. "From Average Joe's happiness to Miserable Jane and Cheerful John: using quantile regressions to analyze the full subjective well-being distribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 275-290, August.
  43. 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.
  44. 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).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2011-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christoph Mengs)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.