The Role of Personality in Adult Life Satisfaction
This paper investigates the extent to which life satisfaction is influenced by personality utilising longitudinal data collected by the BHPS. We test whether there is some happiness trait or propensity to be happy that influences the life satisfaction of adults by including a personality trait which avoids reverse causality and is clean of other environmental factors. To do this, we isolate an individual fixed effect on youth happiness after controlling for a wide variety of demographic and environmental factors. We call this a happiness trait. This trait was then included as an instrument for personality in an adult life satisfaction model. Our results indicate that this happiness trait has a positive, highly significant effect on life satisfaction for both men and women. We also find that it has an effect that remains even after we include the Big 5 personality variables indicating that there is some happiness trait above and beyond these 5 variables.
|Date of creation:||10 Nov 2012|
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