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Back to Baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the BHPS

  • Clark, Andrew E.

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Georgellis, Yannis

    ()

    (University of Kent)

We look for evidence of adaptation in well-being to major life events using eighteen waves of British panel data. Adaptation to marriage, divorce, birth of a child and widowhood appears to be rapid and complete, whereas this is not the case for unemployment. These findings are remarkably similar to those in previous work on German panel data. Equally, the time profiles with life satisfaction as the well-being measure are very close to those using a twelve-item scale of psychological functioning. As such, the phenomenon of adaptation may be a general one, rather than being only found in German data or using single-item well-being measures.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6426.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6426.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economica, 2013, 80 (319), 496–512
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6426
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  1. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2003. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 371, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2002. "Unemployment Alters the Set-Point for Life Satisfaction," Public Policy Discussion Papers 02-16, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  3. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  4. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "Do Divorcing Couples Become Happier By Breaking Up?," IZA Discussion Papers 1788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
  6. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  8. Qari, Salmai, 2014. "Marriage, adaptation and happiness: Are there long-lasting gains to marriage?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 29-39.
  9. Richard E. Lucas & Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Ed Diener, 2002. "Re-Examining Adaptation and the Setpoint Model of Happiness: Reactions to Changes in Marital Status," DELTA Working Papers 2002-08, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  10. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2010. "Back to baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the BHPS," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564821, HAL.
  11. Richard Lucas & Andrew Clark, 2006. "Do People Really Adapt To Marriage?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 405-426, November.
  12. Paul Frijters & David W. Johnston & Michael A. Shields, 2011. "Life Satisfaction Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 190-211, 03.
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