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Neel Ocean
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Neel Ocean: University of Warwick

CAGE Online Working Paper Series from Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE)

Abstract: Recently, a novel attempt has been made to estimate priorities for the different aspects of subjective well-being, in order to understand where resources might best be allocated. However, the determinants of, and life cycle trends for prioritisation have yet to be studied. This paper - the first to study these issues - finds no consistent evidence of variation in priorities over the life cycle, unlike the ‘mid-life crisis’ observed for levels. Life satisfaction is the most valued aspect of well-being throughout life. However, people overestimate the value placed by others on happiness. Well-being priorities are strongly influenced by well-being levels, and individual fixed effects such as personality, health level, and smoking frequency. The separation of aspects into cognitive and affective factors may provide additional insight into how individuals generate priorities, and hence inform the optimal targeting of policy.

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Date: 2016
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