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Reconsidering the analysis of longitudinal happiness data - with an application to the effect of unemployment

  • Gregori Baetschmann
  • Kevin E. Staub
  • Rainer Winkelmann

The paper reconsiders existing estimators for the panel data fixed effects ordered logit model, including one that has not been used in econometric studies before, and studies the small sample properties of these estimators in a series of Monte Carlo simulations. There are two main findings. First, we show that some of the estimators used in the literature are inconsistent. Second, the new estimator seems to be more immune to small sample bias than other consistent estimators and is easy to implement. The empirical relevance is illustrated in an application to the effect of unemployment on happiness. Choosing the right estimator avoids a bias of up to 30 percent in key parameters.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 004.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision: Jun 2011
Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:004
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  1. Booth, Alison L. & van Ours, Jan C., 2007. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-time Work Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 3020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. repec:dgr:kubcen:200769 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. 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.
  4. Das, J.W.M. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1996. "A Panel Data Model for Subjective Information on Household Income Growth," Discussion Paper 1996-75, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. repec:rwi:repape:0063 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Paul Frijters, 2005. "The causal effect of income on health: Evidence from German reunification," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2005-2, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  7. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  8. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  9. Anna Cristina D'Addio & Tor Eriksson & Paul Frijters, 2007. "An analysis of the determinants of job satisfaction when individuals' baseline satisfaction levels may differ," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(19), pages 2413-2423.
  10. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
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