IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A Test for the Convexity of Human Well-Being over the Life Cycle: Longitudinal Evidence from a 20-Year Panel

  • Landeghem Bert van

    (METEOR)

Registered author(s):

    A huge cross-section literature, written by economists and others, argues that human well-being isU-shaped through the life cycle. In many cases this U-shape is robust (with as a well-knownexception the pattern evident in some U.S. data sets if few independent variables are included).However, a lively debate is currently ongoing about its true shape. This paper discusses the identi cation problem of age, time, and cohort e ects. It suggests a simple way to interpretestimates of age variables in a rst-di erence framework. Building on McKenzie''s (2006) methodology,the paper shows that no extra assumptions are needed in order to identify the second derivative ofwell-being to age, i.e. to estimate the changes in changes in the actual age and well-beingrelationship. An empirical application, using a large German data set, nds that human well-beingis convex in age until after midlife, which is approximately consistent with a U-shaped patternthrough life, and not with the concave relationship sometimes found in U.S. studies.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://digitalarchive.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fedora/objects/guid:e797eb90-ccfa-47ae-8a14-3d7663197c4d/datastreams/ASSET1/content
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 043.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2011043
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht

    Phone: +31 (0)43 38 83 830
    Web page: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Senik, Claudia, 2008. "Is man doomed to progress?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 140-152, October.
    2. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1993. "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 10018, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    3. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    4. Angus Deaton & Christina H. Paxson, 1993. "Saving, Growth, and Aging in Taiwan," NBER Working Papers 4330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Peter Sanfey & Utku Teksoz, 2007. "Does transition make you happy?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 707-731, October.
    6. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
    7. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2009. "Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
    9. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges," IZA Discussion Papers 2208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," NBER Working Papers 14969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "Two Views of Inequality Over the Life-Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. repec:pri:cheawb:stone_schwartz_broderick_deaton_snapshot_of_the_age_distribution_of_psych is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," NBER Working Papers 13027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1993. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 4328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    17. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
    18. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Happiness and age cycles – return to start…," MPRA Paper 15249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2003. "Unhappiness and Crime: Evidence from South Africa," Development and Comp Systems 0310003, EconWPA, revised 17 Mar 2004.
    21. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
    22. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew, 2004. "How is mortality affected by money, marriage, and stress?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1181-1207, November.
    23. Easterlin, Richard A., 2006. "Life cycle happiness and its sources: Intersections of psychology, economics, and demography," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 463-482, August.
    24. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    25. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    26. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2003. "Is The Structure Of Happiness Equations The Same In Poor And Rich Countries? The Case Of South Africa," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 675, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    27. 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.
    28. Shmanske, Stephen, 1997. "Life-Cycle Happiness in a Discounted Utility Model," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 383-407.
    29. Marc Fleurbaey, Erik Schokkaert and Koen Decancq, . "What Good is Happiness?," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp020, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2011043. 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: (Leonne Portz)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.