EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?

Daniel Benjamin, Ori Heffetz, Miles Kimball and Alex Rees-Jones

American Economic Review, 2012, vol. 102, issue 5, 2083-2110

Abstract: Would people choose what they think would maximize their subjective well-being (SWB)? We present survey respondents with hypothetical scenarios and elicit both choice and predicted SWB rankings of two alternatives. While choice and predicted SWB rankings usually coincide in our data, we find systematic reversals. We identify factors--such as predicted sense of purpose, control over one's life, family happiness, and social status--that help explain hypothetical choice controlling for predicted SWB. We explore how our findings vary by SWB measure and by scenario. Our results have implications regarding the use of SWB survey questions as a proxy for utility. (JEL D03, I31)

Date: 2012
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (190) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.5.2083 (application/pdf)
http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/aug2012/20101267_data.zip dataset accompanying article (application/zip)
Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:5:p:2083-2110

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
https://www.aeaweb.org/journals/subscriptions

Access Statistics for this article

American Economic Review is currently edited by Esther Duflo

More articles in American Economic Review from American Economic Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael P. Albert ().

 
Page updated 2020-10-14
Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:5:p:2083-2110