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

  • Headey, Bruce

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Wooden, Mark

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

The accepted view among psychologists and economists alike 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 2001 and 2002 waves 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://ftp.iza.org/dp1032.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1032.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Economic Record, 2004, 80 (S1), S24-S33
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1032
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  1. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Robert Drago & Mark Wooden & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2004. "Investigating the Role of Neighbourhood Characteristics in Determining Life Satisfaction," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. Bruce Headey & Gary Marks & Mark Wooden, 2005. "The Structure and Distribution of Household Wealth in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(2), pages 159-175, 06.
  9. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  10. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith & Frank Stafford, 2004. "The Measurement and Structure of Household Wealth," Labor and Demography 0402009, EconWPA.
  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. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
  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. 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.
  15. 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.
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