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Healthy, wealthy, wise, and happy? An exploratory analysis of the interplay between aging and subjective well-being in low and middle income countries

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  • Gabriela Flores
  • Michael Ingenhaag
  • Jürgen Maurer

Abstract

In this paper, we address the relationship between age and several dimension of subjective well-being. Whilst literature generally finds a U-shaped age-profile in subjective well-being, this age-pattern might only hold after controlling for objective life circumstances. The observed U-shaped age-profile might further not generalize to other dimensions of well-being and might vary across countries and cultures. Our study examines the relationship between age and several dimensions of well-being as well as the effect of objective life circumstances using the WHO Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE). Our results suggest a decreasing age profile in the raw data associated with evaluative well-being, while experienced well-being shows a rather flat or slightly increasing pattern. However, age per se is not a cause of a decline in evaluative well-being. The negative age-profile in evaluative well-being is mainly explained by changes in life circumstances associated with aging. Controlling for socio-demographic factors, we find higher levels of well-being for older persons relative to their middle-aged counterparts. In contrast, we find that changes in life circumstances have a much smaller effect on experienced well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriela Flores & Michael Ingenhaag & Jürgen Maurer, 2013. "Healthy, wealthy, wise, and happy? An exploratory analysis of the interplay between aging and subjective well-being in low and middle income countries," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 13.13, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:13.13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Aging; Subjective Well-being; Low and middle income countries;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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