Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/127700
Authors: 
Galiani, Sebastian
Gertler, Paul J.
Undurraga, Raimundo
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Documento de Trabajo 184
Abstract: 
A fundamental question in economics is whether happiness increases pari passu with improvements in material conditions or whether humans grow accustomed to better conditions over time. We rely on a large-scale experiment to examine what kind of impact the provision of housing to extremely poor populations in Latin America has on subjective measures of well-being over time. The objective is to determine whether poor populations exhibit hedonic adaptation in happiness derived from reducing the shortfall in the satisfaction of their basic needs. Our results are conclusive. We find that subjective perceptions of wellbeing improve substantially for recipients of better housing but that after, on average, eight months, 60% of that gain disappears.
Subjects: 
Happiness
Adaptation
Poverty
Experimental Evidence
JEL: 
I31
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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