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Estimating the Causal Effects of Income on Happiness

Nattavudh Powdthavee ()

Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of York

Abstract: There is a long tradition of psychologists finding small income effects on life satisfaction (or happiness). Yet the issue of income endogeneity in life satisfaction equations has rarely been addressed. This paper aims to do just that. Instrumenting for income and allowing for unobserved heterogeneity result in an estimated income effect that is almost twice as large as the estimate in the basic specification. The results call for a reexamination on previous findings that suggest money buys little happiness, and a reevaluation on how the calculation of compensatory packages to various shocks in the individual's life events should be designed.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-hpe and nep-lab
Date: 2009-01
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:yor:yorken:09/02

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