Bad health can severely disrupt a person's life. We apply matching estimators to examine how changes in subjective health status as well as different (objective) conditions of bad health affect subjective well-being. The strongest effect is in the category alcohol and drug abuse, followed by anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses, stroke, diabetes and cancer. We also take into account differences in Big Five personality traits. Adaptation to health impairments depends strongly on the health impairment examined. There is also a puzzling asymmetry: strong adverse reactions to deteriorations in health are observed alongside weak increases in well-being after health improvements.
health illness happiness matching estimators propensity score matching BHPS