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Biermann, Philipp
Bitzer, Jürgen
Gören, Erkan
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Oldenburg Discussion Papers in Economics V-421-19
Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we used a correlated random effects econometric framework to simultaneously estimate the within and between effects of age on subjective well-being. The proposed approach overcomes the ambiguity in the relationship between age and subjective well-being reported in a series of studies based on cross-sectional and/or longitudinal panel data. Our results suggest that a cubic-type functional relationship between well-being and age fits the data best, leading to highly significant coefficient estimates associated with the age variables, and consistent within and between effects of age on subjective well-being. A linear or quadratic functional relationship between well-being and age is not empirically supported, as the between and within estimates of age on well-being differ significantly from each other. The main findings are robust to the inclusion of a broad range of individual-level sociological, demographic, and economic controls, and to the inclusion of various interviewer controls such as survey experience, survey type, and interviewer fixed effects.
Subjective Well-Being
Life Cycle Happiness
Cohort Effects
Mundlak Approach
Correlated Random Effects
Fixed Effects
Between- and Within-Person Effects
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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