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"I'm afraid I have bad news for you..." Estimating the impact of different health impairments on subjective well-being

Martin Binder () and Alex Coad ()

Papers on Economics and Evolution from Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography

Abstract: Bad health can severely disrupt a person's life. We apply matching estimators to examine how changes in subjective health status as well as different (objective) conditions of bad health affect subjective well-being. The strongest effect is in the category alcohol and drug abuse, followed by anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses, stroke, diabetes and cancer. We also take into account differences in "Big Five" personality traits. Adaptation to health impairments depends strongly on the health impairment examined. There is also a puzzling asymmetry: strong adverse reactions to deteriorations in health are observed alongside weak increases in well-being after health improvements.

Keywords: health; illness; happiness; matching estimators; propensity score matching; BHPS Length 33 pages (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 I10 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-10-24
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-hea
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:esi:evopap:2011-15

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