Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/20411
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dc.contributor.authorEasterlin, Richard A.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2009-01-28T16:13:54Z-
dc.date.available2009-01-28T16:13:54Z-
dc.date.issued2003en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10419/20411-
dc.description.abstractWhat do social surveys of life cycle experience tell us about the determinants of subjective well-being? First, that the psychologists? setpoint model is wrong. Life events in the nonpecuniary domain, such as marriage, divorce, and physical disability, have a lasting effect on well-being, and do not simply deflect the average person temporarily above or below a setpoint given by genetics and personality. Second, mainstream economists? inference that inthe pecuniary domain ?more is better,? based on revealed preference theory, is wrong. An increase in income, and thus in the goods at one?s disposal, does not bring with it a lasting increase in well-being, because of the negative effect on utility of hedonic adaptation and social comparison. The utility anticipated ex ante from an increase in consumption turns out ex post to be less than expected, as one adapts to the new level of living, and as the livinglevels of others improve correspondingly. A better theory of well-being builds on the evidence that adaptation and social comparison affect utility more in pecuniary than nonpecuniary domains. The failure of individuals to anticipate that these influences disproportionately undermine utility in the pecuniary domain leads to an excessive allocation of time to pecuniary goals at the expense of nonpecuniary goals, such as family life and health, and reduces well-being. There is need to devise policies that will yield better-informed individual preferences, and thereby increase individual and societal subjective well-being.en_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisher|aInstitute for the Study of Labor (IZA) |cBonnen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries|aIZA Discussion paper series |x742en_US
dc.subject.jelI31en_US
dc.subject.jelJ12en_US
dc.subject.jelI10en_US
dc.subject.jelD60en_US
dc.subject.jelZ13en_US
dc.subject.ddc330en_US
dc.subject.keywordsubjective well-beingen_US
dc.subject.keywordliving levelen_US
dc.subject.keywordhealthen_US
dc.subject.keywordmarital statusen_US
dc.subject.keywordaspirationsen_US
dc.subject.stwLebensstandarden_US
dc.subject.stwLebensqualitäten_US
dc.subject.stwTheorieen_US
dc.subject.stwLebenszufriedenheiten_US
dc.titleBuilding a Better Theory of Well-Beingen_US
dc.typeWorking Paperen_US
dc.identifier.ppn362032025en_US
dc.rightshttp://www.econstor.eu/dspace/Nutzungsbedingungen-

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