Subjective Well-Being: Weather Matters; Climate Doesn't

49 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012  

John Feddersen

University of Oxford - Harris Manchester College

Robert D. Metcalfe

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics

Mark Wooden

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

We investigate the impact of short-term weather and long-term climate on self-reported life satisfaction using panel data. We find robust evidence that day-to-day weather variation impacts life satisfaction by a similar magnitude to acquiring a mild disability. Utilizing two sources of variation in the cognitive complexity of satisfaction questions, we present evidence that weather bias arises because of the cognitive challenge of reporting life satisfaction. Consistent with past studies, we detect a relationship between long-term climate and life satisfaction without individual fixed effects. This relationship is not robust to individual fixed effects, suggesting climate does not directly influence life satisfaction.

JEL Classification: Q51, C23, C81, C83

Suggested Citation

Feddersen, John and Metcalfe, Robert D. and Wooden, Mark, Subjective Well-Being: Weather Matters; Climate Doesn't (November 2012). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2182862

John Feddersen

University of Oxford - Harris Manchester College ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TD
United Kingdom

Robert D. Metcalfe

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Mark Wooden (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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