The Happiness of Economists: Estimating the Causal Effect of Studying Economics on Subjective Well-Being

24 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2010 Last revised: 18 Aug 2014

See all articles by Justus Haucap

Justus Haucap

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Ulrich Heimeshoff

Ruhr Universität Bochum - Faculty of Economics

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

This is the first paper that studies the causal effect of studying economics on subjective well being. Based on a survey among 918 students of economics and other social sciences, we estimate the effects of studying in the different fields on individual life satisfaction. Controlling for personal characteristics we apply innovative instrumental variable methods developed in labor and conflict economics. We find a positive relationship between the study of economics and individual well-being. Additionally, we also find that income, future job chances, and political attitudes are the most important drivers of happiness for participants of our survey.

Keywords: Happiness, Economists, Students

JEL Classification: A11, A13, I21, I31

Suggested Citation

Haucap, Justus and Heimeshoff, Ulrich, The Happiness of Economists: Estimating the Causal Effect of Studying Economics on Subjective Well-Being (August 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1557358 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1557358

Justus Haucap (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics ( email )

Duesseldorf
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.dice.uni-duesseldorf.de

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Ulrich Heimeshoff

Ruhr Universität Bochum - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ruhr University of Bochum
Faculty of Economics
D-44780 Bochum, DE 44780
Germany

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