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The Effect of Income on Positive and Negative Subjective Well-Being

  • Stefan Boes

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

  • Rainer Winkelmann

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Increasing evidence from the empirical economic and psychological literature suggests that positive and negative well-being are more than opposite ends of the same phenomenon. Two separate measures of the dependent variable may be needed when analyzing the determinants of subjective well-being. We argue that this conclusion reflects in part the use of too restrictive econometric models. A flexible multiple-index ordered probit panel data model with varying thresholds can identify response asymmetries in single-item measures of subjective well-being. An application to data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for 1984-2004 shows that income has only a minor effect on positive subjective well-being but a large effect on negative well-being.

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File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2006/wp0605.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0605.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Social Indicators Research 95, pp. 111–128, 2010
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0605
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