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Title:Life satisfaction PDF Logo
Authors:Kapteyn, Arie
Smith, James P.
van Soest, Arthur
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:IZA discussion papers 4015
Abstract:We analyze the determinants of global life satisfaction in two countries (The Netherlands and the U.S.), by using both self-reports and responses to a battery of vignette questions. We find global life satisfaction of happiness is well-described by four domains: job or daily activities, social contacts and family, health, and income. Among the four domains, social contacts and family have the highest impact on global life satisfaction, followed by job and daily activities and health. Income has the lowest impact. As in other work, we find that American response styles differ from the Dutch in that Americans are more likely to use the extremes of the scale (either very satisfied or very dissatisfied) than the Dutch, who are more inclined to stay in the middle of the scale. Although for both Americans and the Dutch, income is the least important determinant of global life satisfaction, it is more important in the U.S. than in The Netherlands. Indeed life satisfaction varies substantially more with income in the U.S. than in The Netherlands.
Subjects:Happiness
life satisfaction
vignettes
reporting bias
JEL:I31
J28
D31
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-20090304722
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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