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Understanding Life Satisfaction and the Education Puzzle in Australia: A profile from HILDA Wave 9

Honge Gong (), Rebecca Cassells () and Marcia Keegan ()
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Marcia Keegan: NATSEM, University of Canberra

No 11/12, NATSEM Working Paper Series from University of Canberra, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling

Abstract: Although better income, wealth and health outcomes have been predicted by human capital theory for better educated people, increasingly international and Australian empirical evidence has found a negative relationship between higher education and subjective wellbeing instead, particularly for developed nations. This study uses Wave 9 of the HILDA survey data and an ordered logit model to estimate the partial effect of educational achievement on different life satisfactions in Australia and how this differs by age group. We find that the younger age group have relatively higher education but lower satisfaction level on average than the older age group. The relationship between education and life satisfaction level differs by age group. Either controlling other variables or not, we found that for the older age group, those with graduate diploma/graduate certificates, certificates or Year 11 or below are more satisfied with their lives on average when compared to those with university degrees, or Year 12 only. However, this is not the case anymore for the younger age group, where life satisfaction, especially with respect to finances, health and safety, increases with education.

Keywords: HILDA; Education; Life Satisfaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2011-07
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