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Early-Life Correlates of Later-Life Well-Being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

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  • Clark, Andrew E.

    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Lee, Tom

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

Abstract

We here use data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) to provide one of the first analyses of the distal (early-life) and proximal (later-life) correlates of older-life subjective well-being. Unusually, we have two distinct measures of the latter: happiness and eudaimonia. Even after controlling for proximal covariates, outcomes at age 18 (IQ score, parental income and parental education) remain good predictors of well-being over 50 years later. In terms of the proximal covariates, mental health and social participation are the strongest predictors of both measures of well-being in older age. However, there are notable differences in the other correlates of happiness and eudaimonia. As such, well-being policy will depend to an extent on which measure is preferred.

Suggested Citation

  • Clark, Andrew E. & Lee, Tom, 2017. "Early-Life Correlates of Later-Life Well-Being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," IZA Discussion Papers 11135, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11135
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Early-Life Correlates of Later-Life Well-Being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-02-20 19:19:51

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Olufsen, Isabel Skak, 2022. "Is inequality in subjective well-being meritocratic? Danish evidence from linked survey and administrative data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 203(C), pages 336-367.
    2. Claudia Börnhorst & Dörte Heger & Anne Mensen, 2019. "Associations of childhood health and financial situation with quality of life after retirement – regional variation across Europe," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(4), pages 1-17, April.
    3. Hovi, Matti & Laamanen, Jani-Petri, 2021. "Income, aspirations and subjective well-being: International evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 287-302.
    4. Gan, Hongwu & Lu, Shengfeng & Lu, Weijie & Niu, Geng & Zhou, Yang, 2023. "Beauty and stock market participation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).
    5. MAGAZZINO, Cosimo & LEOGRANDE, Angelo, 2021. "Subjective Well-Being In Italian Regions: A Panel Data Approach," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18.
    6. Nikolova, Milena & Nikolaev, Boris N., 2021. "Family matters: The effects of parental unemployment in early childhood and adolescence on subjective well-being later in life," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 312-331.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; eudaimonia; well-being; life-course; happiness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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