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Day-of-the-Week Effects in Subjective Well-Being : Does Selectivity Matter?

  • Semih Tumen
  • Tugba Zeydanli

Individuals tend to self-report higher well-being levels on certain days of the week than they do on the remaining days, controlling for observables. Using the 2008 release of the British Household Panel Survey, we test whether this empirical observation suffers from selection bias. In other words, we examine if subjective well-being is correlated with unobserved characteristics that lead the individuals to take the interview on specific days of the week. We focus on two distinct well-being measures : job satisfaction and happiness. We provide convincing evidence for both of these measures that the interviews are not randomly distributed across the days of the week. In other words, individuals with certain unobserved characteristics tend to take the interviews selectively. We conclude that a considerable part of the day-of-the-week patterns can be explained by a standard \non-random sorting on unobservables" argument rather than \mood uctuations". This means that the day-of-the-week estimates reported in the literature are likely to be biased and should be treated cautiously.

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Paper provided by Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey in its series Working Papers with number 1338.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tcb:wpaper:1338
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  3. Semih Tumen & Tugba Zeydanli, 2015. "Social Interactions in Job Satisfaction," Working Papers 1505, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
  4. 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.
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  8. 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.
  9. Leung, S.F. & Yu, S., 1992. "On the Choice Between Sample Selection and Two-Part Models," RCER Working Papers 337, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter, 2009. "Sundays Are Blue: Aren’t They? The Day-of-the-Week Effect on Subjective Well-Being and Socio-Economic Status," IZA Discussion Papers 4563, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. John F. Helliwell & Shun Wang, 2011. "Weekends and Subjective Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 17180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
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  14. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  15. Semih Tumen & Tugba Zeydanli, 2015. "Is Happiness Contagious? Separating Spillover Externalities from the Group-Level Social Context," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 719-744, June.
  16. James J. Heckman & Vytlacil, Edward J., 2007. "Econometric Evaluation of Social Programs, Part II: Using the Marginal Treatment Effect to Organize Alternative Econometric Estimators to Evaluate Social Programs, and to Forecast their Effects in New," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 71 Elsevier.
  17. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  18. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
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  20. Mark P. Taylor, 2006. "Tell me why I don't like Mondays: investigating day of the week effects on job satisfaction and psychological well-being," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(1), pages 127-142.
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