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Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation?

Betsey Stevenson () and Justin Wolfers ()

No 18992, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Many scholars have argued that once "basic needs" have been met, higher income is no longer associated with higher in subjective well-being. We assess the validity of this claim in comparisons of both rich and poor countries, and also of rich and poor people within a country. Analyzing multiple datasets, multiple definitions of "basic needs" and multiple questions about well-being, we find no support for this claim. The relationship between well-being and income is roughly linear-log and does not diminish as incomes rise. If there is a satiation point, we are yet to reach it.

JEL-codes: D6 I3 N3 O1 O4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe and nep-ltv
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Published as Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2013. "Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 598-604, May.

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Journal Article: Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation? (2013) Downloads
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Working Paper: Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Subjective Well?Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation? (2013) Downloads
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