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Revisiting Cheerful Jane and Miserable John: The impact of income, good health, social contacts and education declines with increasing subjective well-being

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  • Martin Binder

    (Bard College Berlin and Annandale-on-Hudson)

Abstract

This short note seeks to replicate the quantile regression analysis in Binder and Coad (2011), but taking into account individual-specific fixed effects (using the BHPS data set). It finds declining effects of the four main variables of interest (health, social life, income, education) over the quantiles of the subjective well-being distribution, with attenuated effect sizes for the fixed-effects model. Equivalized log income has a negative impact on subjective well-being throughout the distribution. Apart from a number of robustness checks, existing research is extended by looking into the quantile effects of the above variables on a set of domain satisfactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Binder, 2015. "Revisiting Cheerful Jane and Miserable John: The impact of income, good health, social contacts and education declines with increasing subjective well-being," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2015-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2015-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
    2. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    3. Martin Binder, 2015. "Volunteering and life satisfaction: a closer look at the hypothesis that volunteering more strongly benefits the unhappy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(11), pages 874-885, July.
    4. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
    5. Christopher Boyce & Alex Wood & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2013. "Is Personality Fixed? Personality Changes as Much as “Variable” Economic Factors and More Strongly Predicts Changes to Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 287-305, March.
    6. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Ivan A. Canay, 2011. "A simple approach to quantile regression for panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 368-386, October.
    9. Boyce, Christopher J., 2010. "Understanding fixed effects in human well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-16, February.
    10. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2015. "Heterogeneity in the Relationship Between Unemployment and Subjective Wellbeing: A Quantile Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(328), pages 865-891, October.
    11. Binder, Martin & Coad, Alex, 2010. "An examination of the dynamics of well-being and life events using vector autoregressions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 352-371, November.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    1. repec:spr:eujhec:v:19:y:2018:i:8:d:10.1007_s10198-018-0967-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective well-being; quantile regressions; heterogeneity; BHPS; life satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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