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Happiness and Domain Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence

  • Easterlin, Richard A.

    ()

    (University of Southern California)

  • Sawangfa, Onnicha

    ()

    (University of Southern California)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2584.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2584.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2007
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: A.K. Dutt and B. Radcliff (eds.), Happiness, Economics, and Politics: Towards a Multi-Disciplinary Approach, 2009, Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2584
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    1. Bernard M.S. van Praag & P. Frijters & A. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2002. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-being," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-022/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    3. Carol Graham, 2005. "Insights on Development from the Economics of Happiness," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 201-231.
    4. Easterlin, Richard A., 2006. "Life cycle happiness and its sources: Intersections of psychology, economics, and demography," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 463-482, August.
    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. de la Croix, David, 1998. "Growth and the relativity of satisfaction," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 105-125, September.
    7. Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2003. "Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 329-348, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
    10. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
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