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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51553

Studer, Raphael (2011). Does it matter how happiness is measured? Evidence from a randomized controlled experiment. Working paper series / Department of Economics No. 49, University of Zurich.

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Abstract

A continuous and a discrete rating scale were implemented for a single item happiness question in a representative survey. A randomized controlled experiment enables unique analyses on data quality and distributions, which suggest superiority of the continuous scale. Results raise doubts about earlier inferences drawn on correlates of happiness. So far only self-assessed discrete happiness data have been used for research into the determinants of happiness. However, distribution distortions were found for the numerically labeled discrete scale, especially for women. Through this discretization bias, the widely reported gender happiness inequality puzzle can be explained.

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
DDC:330 Economics
JEL Classification:C81, I31
Language:English
Date:November 2011
Deposited On:25 Nov 2011 11:13
Last Modified:17 Oct 2012 09:15
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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