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What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-course Model of Well-being

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Layard

    (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Andrew E. Clark

    (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Cornaglia Francesca

    (QMUL - Queen Mary University of London, LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Powdthavee Nattavudh

    (University of Melbourne, LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

Policy makers who care about well-being need a recursive model of how adult life-satisfaction is predicted by childhood influences, acting both directly and (indirectly) through adult circumstances. We estimate such a model using the British Cohort Study (1970). We show that the most powerful childhood predictor of adult life-satisfaction is the child's emotional health, followed by the child's conduct. The least powerful predictor is the child's intellectual development. This may have implications for educational policy. Among adult circumstances, family income accounts for only 0.5% of the variance of life-satisfaction. Mental and physical health are much more important.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Layard & Andrew E. Clark & Cornaglia Francesca & Powdthavee Nattavudh, 2014. "What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-course Model of Well-being," Post-Print halshs-01109062, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01109062
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01109062
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Childhood influence; Well-being; Adult life-satisfaction;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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