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Heterogeneity in the relationship between happiness and age: Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel


Baetschmann, Gregori (2014). Heterogeneity in the relationship between happiness and age: Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel. German Economic Review, 15(3):393-410.

Abstract

This paper studies the evolution of life satisfaction over the life course in Germany. It clarifies the causal interpretation of the econometric model by discussing the choice of control variables and the underidentification between age, cohort and time effects. The empirical part analyzes the distribution of life satisfaction over the life course at the aggregated, subgroup and individual level. To the findings: On average, life satisfaction is mildly decreasing up to age fifty-five followed by a hump shape with a maximum at seventy. The analysis at the lower levels suggests that people differ in their life satisfaction trends, whereas the hump shape after age fifty-five is robust. No important differences between men and women are found. In contrast, education groups differ in their trends: highly educated people become happier over the life cycle, where life satisfaction decreases for less educated people.

Abstract

This paper studies the evolution of life satisfaction over the life course in Germany. It clarifies the causal interpretation of the econometric model by discussing the choice of control variables and the underidentification between age, cohort and time effects. The empirical part analyzes the distribution of life satisfaction over the life course at the aggregated, subgroup and individual level. To the findings: On average, life satisfaction is mildly decreasing up to age fifty-five followed by a hump shape with a maximum at seventy. The analysis at the lower levels suggests that people differ in their life satisfaction trends, whereas the hump shape after age fifty-five is robust. No important differences between men and women are found. In contrast, education groups differ in their trends: highly educated people become happier over the life cycle, where life satisfaction decreases for less educated people.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:02 May 2013 06:17
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 19:29
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1465-6485
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at wileyonlinelibrary.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/geer.12015
Related URLs:http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51551

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