Heterogeneity in the Relationship between Happiness and Age: Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel

35 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2012

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper studies the evolution of life satisfaction over the life course in Germany. It clarifies the causal interpretation of the econometric model by discussing the choice of control variables and the underidentification between age, cohort and time effects. The empirical part analyzes the distribution of life satisfaction over the life course at the aggregated, subgroup and individual level. To the findings: On average, life satisfaction is mildly decreasing up to age fifty-five followed by a hump shape with a maximum at seventy. The analysis at the lower levels suggests that people differ in their life satisfaction trends, whereas the hump shape after age fity-five is robust. No important differences between men and women are found. In contrast, education groups differ in their trends: highly educated people become happier over the life cycle, where life satisfaction decreases for less educated people.

Keywords: aging, life satisfaction, well-being, happiness methodology

JEL Classification: C23, I31, D91

Suggested Citation

Baetschmann, Gregori, Heterogeneity in the Relationship between Happiness and Age: Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel (September 1, 2012). SOEPpaper No. 472-2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2142511 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2142511

Gregori Baetschmann (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

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