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What Can Happiness Research Tell Us About Altruism? Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel

  • Schwarze, Johannes

    (University of Bamberg)

  • Winkelmann, Rainer

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

Much progress has been made in recent years on developing and applying a direct measure of utility using survey questions on subjective well-being. In this paper we explore whether this new type of measurement can be fruitfully applied to the study of interdependent utility in general, and altruism between parents and children in particular. We introduce an appropriate econometric methodology and, using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 2000-2002, find that the parents’ self-reported happiness depends positively, albeit not very strongly, on the happiness of adult children who moved out.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1487.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2011, 24 (3), 1033-1051
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1487
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  1. 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.
  2. Lars P. Feld & Sarah Necker & Bruno S. Frey, 2014. "Happiness of Economists," CESifo Working Paper Series 5099, CESifo Group Munich.
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  10. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
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  17. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2002. "Long Run and Short Effects in Static Panel Models," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 B6-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
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