Event Title

Assessing Happiness: How Economic Factors Measure Up

Graduation Year

2013

Location

Room C102, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

20-4-2013 10:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2013 11:00 AM

Description

This study examines the influences on subjective well-being in the context of the emerging field of happiness economics. The field developed when economists observed that increases in per-capita income had minimal effects on the average happiness levels of a country. Applying this phenomenon to microeconomic theory challenges the neoclassical premise that an increase in income and consumption should increase happiness. The simplicity of the neoclassical theory neglects other important influences on happiness like social comparison and non-pecuniary factors. Using multinomial logistic regressions with data from the General Social Survey, this study evaluates the statistical significance of both economic and non-pecuniary variables on happiness. Empirical results demonstrate that an increase in social position is statistically significant when estimating happiness levels. The relationship found between social comparison and happiness indicates that the traditional neoclassical model may not provide an accurate description of the determinants of happiness.

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Apr 20th, 10:00 AM Apr 20th, 11:00 AM

Assessing Happiness: How Economic Factors Measure Up

Room C102, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

This study examines the influences on subjective well-being in the context of the emerging field of happiness economics. The field developed when economists observed that increases in per-capita income had minimal effects on the average happiness levels of a country. Applying this phenomenon to microeconomic theory challenges the neoclassical premise that an increase in income and consumption should increase happiness. The simplicity of the neoclassical theory neglects other important influences on happiness like social comparison and non-pecuniary factors. Using multinomial logistic regressions with data from the General Social Survey, this study evaluates the statistical significance of both economic and non-pecuniary variables on happiness. Empirical results demonstrate that an increase in social position is statistically significant when estimating happiness levels. The relationship found between social comparison and happiness indicates that the traditional neoclassical model may not provide an accurate description of the determinants of happiness.