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Happiness, Dynamics and Adaptation


  • Piper, Alan T.


This investigation employs dynamic panel analysis to provide new insights into the phenomenon of adaptation. Using the British Household Panel Survey, it is demonstrated that happiness is largely (but not wholly) contemporaneous. This can help provide explanations for previous findings, where many events entered into in the past are often adapted to (like marriage and divorce), and others are not adapted to (like unemployment and poverty). An event – no matter when entered into - must have a contemporaneous impact on either the life of an individual or an individual’s perception of their life (or both) for it to be reflected in self-reported life satisfaction scores. This contemporaneous finding also explains other results in the literature about the well-being legacy of events.

Suggested Citation

  • Piper, Alan T., 2013. "Happiness, Dynamics and Adaptation," MPRA Paper 52342, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52342

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Piper, 2015. "Europe’s Capital Cities and the Happiness Penalty: An Investigation Using the European Social Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 103-126, August.
    2. Piper, Alan T., 2014. "Sliding down the U-shape? An investigation of the age-well-being relationship, with a focus on young adults," MPRA Paper 55819, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Adaptation; Life Satisfaction; Happiness; Dynamic Panel Analysis; GMM;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • 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
    • 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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