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Back to Baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the BHPS

Author

Listed:
  • Clark, Andrew E.

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Georgellis, Yannis

    () (University of Kent)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Clark, Andrew E. & Georgellis, Yannis, 2012. "Back to Baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the BHPS," IZA Discussion Papers 6426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6426
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-241, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2010. "Back to baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the BHPS," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564821, HAL.
    5. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    6. Richard E. Lucas & Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Ed Diener, 2002. "Unemployment Alters the Set-Point for Life Satisfaction," DELTA Working Papers 2002-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    7. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages 222-243, June.
    8. 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, pages 1061-1077.
    9. 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, March.
    10. Richard Lucas & Andrew Clark, 2006. "Do People Really Adapt To Marriage?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 405-426, November.
    11. Jonathan Gardner & Andrew J. Oswald, 2006. "Do divorcing couples become happier by breaking up?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(2), pages 319-336.
    12. 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).
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Marriage & wages
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-03-25 19:22:12
    2. Quantifying the evil of unemployment
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-04-26 18:41:35
    3. Help to work?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-09-30 17:55:50
    4. Non-issues
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-02-05 20:23:46
    5. On hedonic adaptation
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-03-28 19:27:50
    6. The Utopia paradox
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2015-12-10 19:37:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2013. "Back to Baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the British Household Panel Survey," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(319), pages 496-512, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2010. "Back to baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the BHPS," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564821, HAL.
    4. Binder, Martin & Coad, Alex, 2013. "“I'm afraid I have bad news for you…” Estimating the impact of different health impairments on subjective well-being," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 155-167.
    5. BARTOLINI Stefano & SARRACINO Francesco, 2011. "Happy for How Long? How Social Capital and GDP relate to Happiness over Time," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-60, LISER.
    6. Binder, Martin & Coad, Alex, 2011. "From Average Joe's happiness to Miserable Jane and Cheerful John: using quantile regressions to analyze the full subjective well-being distribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 275-290, August.
    7. Binder, Martin & Freytag, Andreas, 2013. "Volunteering, subjective well-being and public policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 97-119.
    8. Martin Binder & Tom Broekel, 2012. "Happiness No Matter the Cost? An Examination on How Efficiently Individuals Reach Their Happiness Levels," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 621-645, August.
    9. Martin Binder & Felix Ward, 2011. "The Structure of Happiness: A Vector Autoregressive Approach," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-08, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    10. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2011. ""I'm afraid I have bad news for you . . ." Estimating the impact of different health impairments on subjective well-being," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-15, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    11. Plagnol, Anke C., 2011. "Financial satisfaction over the life course: The influence of assets and liabilities," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 45-64, February.
    12. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2013. "Life satisfaction and self-employment: a matching approach," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 1009-1033, May.
    13. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2012. "Happiness: before and after the kids," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction; anticipation; adaptation; labour market and life events; baseline satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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