IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rdg/emxxdp/em-dp2012-02.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Personality in Adult Life Satisfaction

Author

Listed:
  • Sarah Jewell

    () (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

  • Uma Kambhampati

    () (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Jewell & Uma Kambhampati, 2012. "The Role of Personality in Adult Life Satisfaction," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2012-02, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2012-02
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/economics/emdp2012095.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    3. Luis Angeles, 2009. "Adaption and anticipation effects to life events in the United Kingdom," Working Papers 2009_08, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    4. Hausman, Jerry A & Taylor, William E, 1981. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1377-1398, November.
    5. Senik, Claudia, 2009. "Direct evidence on income comparisons and their welfare effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 408-424, October.
    6. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
    7. Ruut Veenhoven, 1991. "Is happiness relative?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, February.
    8. Andrew E. Clark, 2006. "A Note on Unhappiness and Unemployment Duration," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 52(4), pages 291-308.
    9. Andrew E. Clark, 2006. "A note on unhappiness and unemployment duration," Working Papers halshs-00590444, HAL.
    10. Kenneth Land & Vicki Lamb & Sarah Mustillo, 2001. "Child and Youth Well-Being in the United States, 1975–1998: Some Findings from a New Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 56(3), pages 241-318, December.
    11. Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2013. "Adaptation, anticipation and social interaction in happiness: An integrated error-correction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 131-149.
    12. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    13. Ruut Veenhoven, 1994. "Is happiness a trait?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 101-160, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction; personality; youth happiness;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2012-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie Pearson). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bsrdguk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.