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The curved relationship between subjective well-being and age

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew E. Clark

    (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Andrew J. Oswald

    (Departement of Economics - University of Warwick - University of Warwick [Coventry])

Abstract

This article is concerned with a body of work on happiness and age represented by important papers such as Mroczek and Kolarz (1998) and Mroczek and Spiro (2005). Using a large British data set, the paper presents new longitudinal evidence. It also points out that, perhaps unknown to many psychologists, a parallel literature on this topic exists in economics journals. The paper shows that subjective well-being follows a U-shape through the life course. We argue that eventually the two literatures will have to be made consistent with one another, and suggest that, although it is not easy to live in both worlds, with their different styles and conventions, economists and psychologists still have much to learn from one another.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew E. Clark & Andrew J. Oswald, 2006. "The curved relationship between subjective well-being and age," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590404, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00590404 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00590404
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    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00590404/document
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    2. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wencke Gwozdz & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2010. "Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 97(3), pages 397-417, July.
    2. Terence C. Cheng & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Andrew J. Oswald, 2017. "Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well‐being: Results from Four Data Sets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 126-142, February.
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    4. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini & Francesco Sarracino, 2013. "Predicting the Trend of Well-Being in Germany: How Much Do Comparisons, Adaptation and Sociability Matter?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 169-191, November.
    5. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Happiness and age cycles – return to start…," MPRA Paper 15249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Catherine Pollak, 2012. "Employed and Happy despite Weak Health? Labour Market Participation and Job Quality of Older Workers with Disabilities," Working Papers DT45, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Mar 2012.
    7. Ning Li, 2016. "Multidimensionality of Longitudinal Data: Unlocking the Age-Happiness Puzzle," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 305-320, August.
    8. Zhanjun Xing & Liqing Huang, 2014. "The Relationship Between Age and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Five Capital Cities in Mainland China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 743-756, July.
    9. Bauer,Jan Michael & Levin,Victoria & Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria & Nie,Peng & Sousa-Poza,Alfonso, 2015. "Subjective well-being across the lifespan in Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7378, The World Bank.
    10. López Ulloa, Beatriz Fabiola & Moller, Valerie & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "How Does Subjective Well-Being Evolve with Age? A Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 7328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Bell, Andrew, 2014. "Life-course and cohort trajectories of mental health in the UK, 1991–2008 – A multilevel age–period–cohort analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 21-30.
    12. Anna Darbonne & Bert Uchino & Anthony Ong, 2013. "What Mediates Links Between Age and Well-being? A Test of Social Support and Interpersonal Conflict as Potential Interpersonal Pathways," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 951-963, June.
    13. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    14. Wunder, Christoph & Wiencierz, Andrea & Schwarze, Johannes & Küchenhoff, Helmut & Kleyer, Sara & Bleninger, Philipp, 2009. "Well-Being over the Life Span: Semiparametric Evidence from British and German Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Marta Suárez-Varela & Jorge Guardiola & Francisco González-Gómez, 2016. "Do Pro-environmental Behaviors and Awareness Contribute to Improve Subjective Well-being?," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 429-444, June.
    16. repec:spr:ariqol:v:12:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11482-016-9465-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2008. "Happiness over the life cycle: exploring age-specific preferences," MPRA Paper 7302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Ning Li, 2014. "Multidimensionality of Longitudinal Data: Unlocking the Age-Happiness Puzzle," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2014n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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