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Happiness of economists

  • Feld, Lars P.
  • Necker, Sarah
  • Frey, Bruno S.

This study investigates the determinants of economists' life satisfaction. The analysis is based on a survey of professional, mostly academic economists from European countries and beyond. We find that certain features of economists' professional situation influence their well-being. Happiness is increased by having more research time while the lack of a tenured position decreases satisfaction in particular if the contract expires in the near future or cannot be extended. Surprisingly, publication success has no effect on satisfaction. While the perceived level of external pressure also has no impact, the perceived change of pressure in recent years has. Economists may have accepted a high level of pressure when entering academia but do not seem to be willing to cope with the increase observed in recent years.

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Paper provided by Walter Eucken Institut e.V. in its series Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics with number 13/7.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:aluord:137
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  1. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F189-F213, June.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Susanne Neckermann, 2009. "Academics Appreciate Awards - A New Aspect of Incentives in Research," CESifo Working Paper Series 2531, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz, . "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," IEW - Working Papers 135, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521848053 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Keith A. Bender & John S. Heywood, 2006. "Job Satisfaction Of The Highly Educated: The Role Of Gender, Academic Tenure, And Earnings," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(2), pages 253-279, 05.
  6. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  9. Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, 1993. "American and European Economics and Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 185-193, Fall.
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