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Subjective Well-Being: Weather Matters; Climate Doesn't

  • John Feddersen

    (Department of Economics, University of Oxford)

  • Robert Metcalfe

    (Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, The University of Chicago)

  • Mark Wooden

    ()

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

We investigate the impact of short-term weather and long-term climate on self-reported life satisfaction using panel data. We find robust evidence that day-to-day weather variation impacts life satisfaction by a similar magnitude to acquiring a mild disability. Utilizing two sources of variation in the cognitive complexity of satisfaction questions, we present evidence that weather bias arises because of the cognitive challenge of reporting life satisfaction. Consistent with past studies, we detect a relationship between long-term climate and life satisfaction without individual fixed effects. This relationship is not robust to individual fixed effects, suggesting climate does not directly influence life satisfaction.

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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 wp2012n25.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2012n25
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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