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Happiness and Domain Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence

Author

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  • Easterlin, Richard A.

    () (University of Southern California)

  • Sawangfa, Onnicha

    () (University of Southern California)

Abstract

In the United States happiness, on average, varies positively with socio-economic status; is fairly constant over time; rises to midlife and then declines; and is lower among younger than older birth cohorts. These four patterns of mean happiness can be predicted rather closely from the mean satisfaction people report with each of four domains – finances, family life, work, and health. Even though the domain satisfaction patterns typically differ from each other and from that for happiness, they come together in a way that explains quite well the overall patterns of happiness. The importance of any given domain depends on the happiness relation under study (by socio-economic status, time, age or birth cohort), and no single domain is invariably the key to happiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Easterlin, Richard A. & Sawangfa, Onnicha, 2007. "Happiness and Domain Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2584
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Robert Cummins, 1996. "The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 303-328, January.
    6. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bonsang, Eric & Klein, Tobias J., 2012. "Retirement and subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 311-329.
    2. Cristina Bernini & Alessandro Tampieri, 2017. "Urbanization and its Effects on the Happiness Domains," CREA Discussion Paper Series 17-10, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    3. Torshizian, Eilya & Mehrara, Mohsen, 2011. "The effects of Economy, Values and Health on Happiness In Iran: the case of the Kish Island," MPRA Paper 30085, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Apr 2011.
    4. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:875-905 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bahadır Dursun & Resul Cesur, 2016. "Transforming lives: the impact of compulsory schooling on hope and happiness," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 911-956, July.
    6. Easterlin, Richard A. & Plagnol, Anke C., 2008. "Life satisfaction and economic conditions in East and West Germany pre- and post-unification," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 433-444, December.
    7. Cristina Bernini & Alessandro Tampieri, 2017. "The Happiness Function in Italian Cities," CREA Discussion Paper Series 17-07, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    8. Kant, Shashi & Vertinsky, Ilan & Zheng, Bin & Smith, Peggy M., 2014. "Multi-Domain Subjective Wellbeing of Two Canadian First Nations Communities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 140-157.
    9. López Ulloa, Beatriz Fabiola & Møller, Valerie & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "How does subjective well-being evolve with age? A literature review," FZID Discussion Papers 72-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    10. María Laura Arrosa & Néstor Gandelman, 2016. "Happiness Decomposition: Female Optimism," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 731-756, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    happiness; subjective well-being; domain satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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