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Day-of-the-Week Effects in Subjective Well-Being: Does Selectivity Matter?

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  • Tumen, Semih
  • Zeydanli, Tugba

Abstract

Individuals tend to self-report higher well-being levels on certain days of the weeks than they do on the remaining days, controlling for observables. Using the 2008 release of the British Household Panel Survey, we test whether this empirical observation suffers from selection bias. In other words, we examine if subjective well-being is correlated with unobserved characteristics that lead the individuals to take the interview on specific days of the week. We focus on two distinct well-being measures: job satisfaction and happiness. We provide convincing evidence for both of these measures that the interviews are not randomly distributed across the days of the week. In other words, individuals with certain unobserved characteristics tend to take the interviews selectively. We conclude that a considerable part of the day-of-the-week patterns can be explained by a standard "non-random sorting on unobservables" argument rather than "mood fluctuations." This means that the day-of-the-week estimates reported in the literature are likely to be biased and should be treated cautiously.

Suggested Citation

  • Tumen, Semih & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2013. "Day-of-the-Week Effects in Subjective Well-Being: Does Selectivity Matter?," MPRA Paper 50475, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:50475
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Semih Tumen & Tugba Zeydanli, 2015. "Is Happiness Contagious? Separating Spillover Externalities from the Group-Level Social Context," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 719-744, June.
    2. Chadi, Adrian, 2015. "Concerns about the Euro and happiness in Germany during times of crisis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 126-146.
    3. Chadi, Adrian, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100505, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. John F. Helliwell & Shun Wang, 2015. "How was the Weekend? How the Social Context Underlies Weekend Effects in Happiness and other Emotions for US Workers," NBER Working Papers 21374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hie Joo Ahn & Ling Shao, 2017. "Precautionary On-the-Job Search over the Business Cycle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-025, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Tsai, Alexander C. & Venkataramani, Atheendar S., 2015. "Communal bereavement and resilience in the aftermath of a terrorist event: Evidence from a natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 155-163.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Day-of-the-week effects; subjective well-being; self-selection; treatment effects; BHPS.;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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