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Keywords:Happiness 

Working Paper
What do happiness and health satisfaction data tell us about relative risk aversion?

In this paper we provide estimates of the coefficient of relative risk aversion using information on self-reports of subjective personal well-being from the 2006 Gallup World Poll. We expand the existing literature on the use of happiness data to analyze economic issues by considering the implications of allowing for health state dependence in the utility function. Our estimates of relative risk aversion using pooled data from various country groupings are smaller than one, suggesting less concavity than log utility. We also find that controlling for health dependence generally reduces these ...
Working Papers , Paper 2011-039

Working Paper
The happiness - suicide paradox

Suicide is an important scientific phenomenon. Yet its causes remain poorly understood. This study documents a paradox: the happiest places have the highest suicide rates. The study combines findings from two large and rich individual-level data sets?one on life satisfaction and another on suicide deaths?to establish the paradox in a consistent way across U.S. states. It replicates the finding in data on Western industrialized nations and checks that the paradox is not an artifact of population composition or confounding factors. The study concludes with the conjecture that people may find it ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2010-30

Working Paper
Happiness, unhappiness, and suicide: an empirical assessment

The use of subjective well-being (SWB) data for investigating the nature of individual preferences has increased tremendously in recent years. There has been much debate about the cross-sectional and time series patterns found in these data, particularly with respect to the relationship between SWB and relative status. Part of this debate concerns how well SWB data measures true utility or preferences. In a recent paper, Daly, Wilson, and Johnson (2007) propose using data on suicide as a revealed preference (outcome-based) measure of well-being and find strong evidence that reference-group ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2008-19

Working Paper
Relative status and well-being: evidence from U.S. suicide deaths

We assess the importance of interpersonal income comparisons using data on suicide deaths. We examine whether suicide risk is related to others? income, holding own income and other individual and environmental factors fixed. We estimate models of the suicide hazard using two independent data sets: (1) the National Longitudinal Mortality Study and (2) the National Center for Health Statistics? Multiple Cause of Death Files combined with the 5 percent Public Use Micro Sample of the 1990 decennial census. Results from both data sources show that, controlling for own income and individual ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2012-16

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