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Human Well-Being over the Life Cycle: Longitudinal Evidence from a 20-Year Panel

  • Bert G.M. Van Landeghem

This paper uses longitudinal data from the German Socioeconomic Panel (GSOEP) to analyze the course of subjective well-being over the life cycle. The long time dimension offers an opportunity to disentangle ageing effects from fixed birth co- hort effects. The paper _finds that the U-shaped pattern of life satisfaction over age is less supported in a longitudinal analysis, and that the observed trajectory can vary across model specifications. Moreover, assets and material well-being seem to play an important role in determining the course of satisfaction over life time. The upsurge of happiness after mid-life seems to be more robust to model specifications, which might imply that the latter is inherent to mankind.

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File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos/publications/dp/dp213.pdf
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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 21308.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:21308
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  16. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  17. Clark, Andrew E., 2007. "Born To Be Mild? Cohort Effects Don’t (Fully) Explain Why Well-Being Is U-Shaped in Age," IZA Discussion Papers 3170, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  19. 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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  23. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  24. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln & Matthias Schündeln, 2005. "Precautionary Savings and Self-Selection: Evidence from the German Reunification "Experiment"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1085-1120, August.
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