Why Is the World Getting Older?: The Influence of Happiness on Mortality
Cahit Guven () and
No 198, SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research from DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)
World life expectancy has risen by around 20 years in the last 50 years. This period has also witnessed rising happiness levels around the world suggesting that happiness might be one of the causes behind the decline in mortality. We investigate the relationship between happiness and mortality using the German Socio-Economic Panel. We consider doctor visits, self-reported health, and presence of chronic illness as health measures. After controlling for initial health conditions, we find that happiness extends life expectancy. 10 percent increase in happiness decreases probability of death by four percent, and this effect is more pronounced for men and younger people. Happiness plays a more important role for chronically ill people in decreasing mortality than for those who are not chronically ill. The positive influence of happiness on mortality can offset the negative impact of chronic illness. Marriage decreases mortality and this effect appears to work through increased happiness.
Keywords: Happiness; mortality; health; chronic illness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D3 I10 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 p.
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-hap, nep-hea and nep-ltv
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Why is the world getting older? The influence of happiness on mortality (2009)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp198
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research from DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Bibliothek ().