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Journal ArticleDOI

Absolute Income, Relative Income, and Happiness

01 Sep 2008-Social Indicators Research (Springer Netherlands)-Vol. 88, Iss: 3, pp 497-529
TL;DR: This paper investigated how an individual's self-reported happiness is related to the level of her income in absolute terms, and relative to other people in her country, and found that both absolute and relative income are positively and significantly correlated with happiness, quantitatively, changes in relative income have much larger effects on happiness than do changes in absolute income.
Abstract: This paper uses data from the World Values Survey to investigate how an individual’s self-reported happiness is related to (i) the level of her income in absolute terms, and (ii) the level of her income relative to other people in her country. The main findings are that (i) both absolute and relative income are positively and significantly correlated with happiness, (ii) quantitatively, changes in relative income have much larger effects on happiness than do changes in absolute income, and (iii) the effects on happiness of both absolute and relative income are small when compared to the effects several non-pecuniary factors.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results suggest that the oxytocinergic system is involved in modulating envy and gloating, contrary to the prevailing belief that this system is involvement solely in positive prosocial behaviors, it probably plays a key role in a wider range of social emotion-related behaviors.

427 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of attitudes toward parenthood and childlessness reveals that people tend to believe that parenthood is central to a meaningful and fulfilling life, and that the lives of childless people are emptier, less rewarding, and lonelier, than the life of parents.
Abstract: This paper reviews and compares folk theories and empirical evidence about the influence of parenthood on happiness and life satisfaction. The review of attitudes toward parenthood and childlessness reveals that people tend to believe that parenthood is central to a meaningful and fulfilling life, and that the lives of childless people are emptier, less rewarding, and lonelier, than the lives of parents. Most cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence suggest, however, that people are better off without having children. It is mainly children living at home that interfere with well-being, particularly among women, singles, lower socioeconomic strata, and people residing in less pronatalist societies—especially when these characteristics are combined. The discrepancy between beliefs and findings is discussed in relation to the various costs of parenting; the advantages of childlessness; adaptation and compensation among involuntarily childless persons; cognitive biases; and the possibility that parenthood confers rewards in terms of meaning rather than happiness.

284 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore various growth scenarios for Canada over the medium range to 2020 using a dynamic simulation model, and present conditions under which the rate of unemployment in Canada could be reduced to historically low levels, poverty eliminated and greenhouse gas emissions reduced to comply with Canada's commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, without relying on economic growth.

213 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found that the association between income and happiness is indeed stronger for immigrants in the USA than for natives, but even for immigrants that association is still relatively weak, suggesting that migrants are mistaken in believing that economic migration is a path to improving one's well-being.
Abstract: Research on happiness casts doubt on the notion that increases in income generally bring greater happiness. This finding can be taken to imply that economic migration might fail to result in increased happiness for the migrants: migration as a means of increasing one’s income might be no more effective in raising happiness than other means of increasing one’s income. This implication is counterintuitive: it suggests that migrants are mistaken in believing that economic migration is a path to improving one’s well-being, at least to the extent that well-being means (or includes) happiness. This paper considers a scenario in which it is less likely that migrants are simply mistaken in this regard. The finding that increased incomes do not lead to greater happiness is an average (non)effect—and migrants might be exceptional in this regard, gaining happiness from increased incomes to a greater extent than most people. The analysis here, using data from the World Values Survey, finds that the association between income and happiness is indeed stronger for immigrants in the USA than for natives—but even for immigrants that association is still relatively weak. The discussion then considers this finding in light of the fact that immigrants also report lower levels of happiness than natives after controlling for other variables.

180 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used the available data on differences in average happiness across nations to show that happiness can be compared across nations and used as an indicator of how well people thrive in a society.
Abstract: The number of cross-national research studies on happiness is soaring, but doubts about the comparability of happiness between countries remain. One source of doubt is the possibility of cultural measurement bias. Another source of doubt is in the theory that happiness is culturally relative. These qualms were checked using the available data on differences in average happiness across nations. It appears that happiness can be compared across nations and used as an indicator of how well people thrive in a society.

151 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Wilson's (1967) review of the area of subjective well-being (SWB) advanced several conclusions regarding those who report high levels of "happiness" A number of his conclusions have been overturned: youth and modest aspirations no longer are seen as prerequisites of SWB as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: W Wilson's (1967) review of the area of subjective well-being (SWB) advanced several conclusions regarding those who report high levels of "happiness" A number of his conclusions have been overturned: youth and modest aspirations no longer are seen as prerequisites of SWB E Diener's (1984) review placed greater emphasis on theories that stressed psychological factors In the current article, the authors review current evidence for Wilson's conclusions and discuss modern theories of SWB that stress dispositional influences, adaptation, goals, and coping strategies The next steps in the evolution of the field are to comprehend the interaction of psychological factors with life circumstances in producing SWB, to understand the causal pathways leading to happiness, understand the processes underlying adaptation to events, and develop theories that explain why certain variables differentially influence the different components of SWB (life satisfaction, pleasant affect, and unpleasant affect) In 1967, Warner Wilson presented a broad review of subjective well-being (SWB) research entitled, "Correlates of Avowed Happiness" Based on the limited data available at that time, Wilson concluded that the happy person is a "young, healthy, welleducated, well-paid, extroverted, optimistic, worry-free, religious, married person with high self-esteem, job morale, modest aspirations, of either sex and of a wide range of intelligence" (p 294) In the three decades since Wilson's review, investigations into SWB have evolved Although researchers now know a great deal more about the correlates of SWB, they are less interested in simply describing the demographic characteristics that correlate with it Instead, they focus their effort on understanding the processes that underlie happiness This trend represents a greater recognition of the central role played by people's goals, coping efforts, and dispositions In this article, we review research on several major theoretical approaches to well-being and then indicate how these theories clarify the findings on demographic correlates of SWB Throughout the review we suggest four directions that researchers should pursue in the decades ahead These are by no means the only questions left to answer, but we believe they are the most interesting issues left to resolve First, the causal direction of the correlates of happiness must be examined through more sophisticated methodologies Although the causal priority of demographic factors such as marriage and income is intuitively appealing, it is by no means certain Second, researchers must focus greater attention on the interaction between internal factors (such as personality traits) and external circumstances As we shall see, demographic factors have surprisingly small effects on SWB, but these effects may depend on the personalities of those individuals being studied Thus, future research must take Person X Situation interactions into account Third, researchers must strive to understand the processes underlying adaptation Considerable adaptation to both good and bad circumstances often occurs, yet the processes responsible for these effects are poorly understood Research that examines how habituation, coping strategies, and changing goals influence adaptation will shed much light on the processes responsible for SWB Finally, theories must be refined to make specific predictions about how input variables differentially influence the components of SWB In the past, many researchers have treated SWB as a monolithic entity, but it is now clear that there are separable components that exhibit unique patterns of relations with different variables In each section of this article we discuss progress and opportunities in these four areas

8,352 citations

Book ChapterDOI
TL;DR: The literature on subjective well-being (SWB), including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect, is reviewed in this article in three areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory.
Abstract: The literature on subjective well-being (SWB), including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect, is reviewed in three areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory. Psychometric data on single-item and multi-item subjective well-being scales are presented, and the measures are compared. Measuring various components of subjective well-being is discussed. In terms of causal influences, research findings on the demographic correlates of SWB are evaluated, as well as the findings on other influences such as health, social contact, activity, and personality. A number of theoretical approaches to happiness are presented and discussed: telic theories, associationistic models, activity theories, judgment approaches, and top-down versus bottom-up conceptions.

7,799 citations

Book
J. Scott Long1
09 Jan 1997
TL;DR: In this article, the authors propose Continuous Outcomes Binary Outcomes Testing and Fit Ordinal Outcomes Numeric Outcomes and Numeric Numeric Count Outcomes (NOCO).
Abstract: Introduction Continuous Outcomes Binary Outcomes Testing and Fit Ordinal Outcomes Nominal Outcomes Limited Outcomes Count Outcomes Conclusions

7,306 citations

Book
01 Jan 1997
TL;DR: The 1990 WVS Questionnaire was used by as mentioned in this paper for the ICPSR Questionnaire, with variable numbers of items used in Table 1 and Table 2... Table 1.
Abstract: Acknowledgments Ch. 1 Value Systems: The Subjective Aspect of Politics and Economics Ch. 2 Individual-Level Change and Societal-Level Change Ch. 3 Modernization and Postmodernization in 43 Societies Ch. 4 Measuring Materialist and Postmaterialist Values Ch. 5 The Shift toward Postmaterialist Values, 1970-1994 Ch. 6 Economic Development, Political Culture, and Democracy: Bringing the People Back In Ch. 7 The Impact of Culture on Economic Growth Ch. 8 The Rise of New Issues and New Parties Ch. 9 The Shift toward Postmodern Values: Predicted and Observed Changes, 1981-1990 Ch. 10 The Erosion of Institutional Authority and the Rise of Citizen Intervention in Politics Ch. 11 Trajectories of Social Change App. 1 A Note on Sampling: Figures A.1 and A.2 App. 2 Partial 1990 WVS Questionnaire, with Short Labels for Items Used in Figure 3.2 App. 3 Supplementary Figures for Chapters 3, 9, and 10 Figures A.3 (Chapter 6), A.4-A.21 (Chapter 9), A.22-A.26 (Chapter 10), and A.27 (Chapter 11) App. 4 Construction of Key Indices Used in This Book App. 5 Complete 1990 WVS Questionnaire, with Variable Numbers in ICPSR Dataset References Index

5,399 citations

Book
10 Sep 2014
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a brief tutorial for estimating, testing, fit, and interpretation of ordinal and binary outcomes using Stata. But they do not discuss how to apply these models to other estimation commands, such as post-estimation analysis.
Abstract: Preface PART I GENERAL INFORMATION Introduction What is this book about? Which models are considered? Whom is this book for? How is the book organized? What software do you need? Where can I learn more about the models? Introduction to Stata The Stata interface Abbreviations How to get help The working directory Stata file types Saving output to log files Using and saving datasets Size limitations on datasets Do-files Using Stata for serious data analysis Syntax of Stata commands Managing data Creating new variables Labeling variables and values Global and local macros Graphics A brief tutorial Estimation, Testing, Fit, and Interpretation Estimation Postestimation analysis Testing estat command Measures of fit Interpretation Confidence intervals for prediction Next steps PART II MODELS FOR SPECIFIC KINDS OF OUTCOMES Models for Binary Outcomes The statistical model Estimation using logit and probit Hypothesis testing with test and lrtest Residuals and influence using predict Measuring fit Interpretation using predicted values Interpretation using odds ratios with listcoef Other commands for binary outcomes Models for Ordinal Outcomes The statistical model Estimation using ologit and oprobit Hypothesis testing with test and lrtest Scalar measures of fit using fitstat Converting to a different parameterization The parallel regression assumption Residuals and outliers using predict Interpretation Less common models for ordinal outcomes Models for Nominal Outcomes with Case-Specific Data The multinomial logit model Estimation using mlogit Hypothesis testing of coefficients Independence of irrelevant alternatives Measures of fit Interpretation Multinomial probit model with IIA Stereotype logistic regression Models for Nominal Outcomes with Alternative-Specific Data Alternative-specific data organization The conditional logit model Alternative-specific multinomial probit The sturctural covariance matrix Rank-ordered logistic regression Conclusions Models for Count Outcomes The Poisson distribution The Poisson regression model The negative binomial regression model Models for truncated counts The hurdle regression model Zero-inflated count models Comparisons among count models Using countfit to compare count models More Topics Ordinal and nominal independent variables Interactions Nonlinear models Using praccum and forvalues to plot predictions Extending SPost to other estimation commands Using Stata more efficiently Conclusions Appendix A Syntax for SPost Commands Appendix B Description of Datasets References Author Index Subject Index

4,703 citations