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The Effects of Wealth and Income on Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being

  • Mark Wooden

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Bruce Headey

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

The accepted view among psychologists and, increasingly, economists is that household income has statistically significant but only small effects on measures of subjective well-being. Income, however, is clearly an imperfect measure of the economic circumstances of households. Using data drawn from the 2002 wave of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, this paper demonstrates that wealth, which can be viewed as providing a degree of economic security, is at least as important to well-being and ill-being as income.

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File URL: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2004n03.pdf
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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2004n03.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2004n03
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Mike Shields & Mark Wooden, 2003. "Investigating the Role of Neighbourhood Characteristics in Determining Life Satisfaction," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
  5. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  6. Frijters, Paul & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Shields, Michael A., 2002. "The Value of Reunification in Germany: An Analysis of Changes in Life Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  9. Juster, F. Thomas & Smith, James P. & Stafford, Frank, 1999. "The measurement and structure of household wealth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 253-275, June.
  10. Bruce Headey & Mark Wooden & Gary Marks, 2004. "The Structure and Distribution of Household Wealth in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n12, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  11. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
  12. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
  13. Randolph Mullis, 1992. "Measures of economic well-being as predictors of psychological well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 119-135, March.
  14. Hollander, Heinz, 2001. "On the validity of utility statements: standard theory versus Duesenberry's," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 227-249, July.
  15. Bruce Headey & Jonathan Kelley & Alex Wearing, 1993. "Dimensions of mental health: Life satisfaction, positive affect, anxiety and depression," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 63-82, May.
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