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Reported happiness, fast and slow

  • Raphael Studer
  • Rainer Winkelmann

In this paper, we test how reporting behaviors (response time, cognitive effort, questionnaire order) affect reported happiness in a large Dutch internet panel survey. We find that slower responses and higher cognitive effort reduce reported happiness. Moreover, in multivariate happiness equations, these factors moderate the estimated effect of income on happiness, while no interaction effects are found for other determinants of happiness. As a consequence, relative marginal effects may not be invariant to reporting circumstances.

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File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp080.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 080.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:080
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  1. Mick P. Couper & Frauke Kreuter, 2013. "Using paradata to explore item level response times in surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(1), pages 271-286, 01.
  2. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," NBER Working Papers 13027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Boyce, Christopher J. & Wood, Alex M., 2011. "Personality and the marginal utility of income: Personality interacts with increases in household income to determine life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 183-191.
  6. Boyce, Christopher J. & Wood, Alex M., 2011. "Personality and the marginal utility of income: Personality interacts with increases in household income to determine life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 183-191, April.
  7. 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).
  8. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  9. Gabriele B. Durrant & Julia D'Arrigo & Fiona Steele, 2013. "Analysing interviewer call record data by using a multilevel discrete time event history modelling approach," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(1), pages 251-269, 01.
  10. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
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