Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/34425
Authors: 
Oswald, Andrew J.
Powdthavee, Nattavudh
Year of Publication: 
2007
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 3159
Abstract: 
This paper studies the mental distress caused by bereavement. The largest emotional losses are from the death of a spouse; the second-worst in severity are the losses from the death of a child; the third-worst is the death of a parent. The paper explores how happiness regression equations might be used in tort cases to calculate compensatory damages for emotional harm and pain-and-suffering. We examine alternative well-being variables, discuss adaptation, consider the possibility that bereavement affects someone's marginal utility of income, and suggest a procedure for correcting for the endogeneity of income. Although the paper's contribution is methodological, and further research is needed, some illustrative compensation amounts are discussed.
Subjects: 
Bereavement
damages
happiness
compensation
well-being
GHQ scores
JEL: 
D1
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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