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Income and Happiness: New Results from Generalized Threshold and Sequential Models

  • Stefan Boes

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

  • Rainer Winkelmann

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Empirical studies on the relationship between income and happiness commonly use standard ordered response models, the most well-known representatives being the ordered logit and the ordered probit. However, these models restrict the marginal probability effects by design, and therefore limit the analysis of distributional aspects of a change in income, that is, the study of whether the income effect depend on a person’s happiness. In this paper we pinpoint the shortcomings of standard models and propose two alternatives, namely generalized threshold and sequential models. With data of two waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel, 1984 and 1997, we show that the more general models yield different marginal probability effects than standard models.

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File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2004/wp0407.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
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Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0407.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0407
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  1. Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2001. "Exploring the Economic and Social Determinants of Psychological and Psychosocial Health," IZA Discussion Papers 396, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Headey, Bruce & Wooden, Mark, 2004. "The Effects of Wealth and Income on Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 1032, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  9. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. Clark, Andrew E. & Etilé, Fabrice & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Senik, Claudia & Van der Straeten, Karine, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Reported Well-Being: Evidence from Twelve European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1339, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Exploring the economic and social determinants of psychological well-being and perceived social support in England," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
  12. Johannes Schwarze, 2003. "Using Panel Data on Income Satisfaction to Estimate Equivalence Scale Elasticity," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(3), pages 359-372, 09.
  13. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  14. Gardner, Jonathan & Andrew Oswald, 2002. "Does Money Buy Happiness? A Longitudinal Study Using Data on Windfalls," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 81, Royal Economic Society.
  15. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  16. 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.
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