Transforming Lives: The Impact of Compulsory Schooling on Hope and Happiness

65 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2016 Last revised: 28 Mar 2016

See all articles by Bahadir Dursun

Bahadir Dursun

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics

Resul Cesur

University of Connecticut, School of Business - Dept. of Healthcare Economics

Date Written: February 29, 2016

Abstract

This is the first article examining the causal impact of mandatory extended primary schooling on happiness (sense of well being) of young adults. We rely on a law change that raised compulsory schooling from 5 to 8 years in Turkey to address the endogeneity of education to happiness. Our study shows that, for females, earning at least a middle school diploma increases the likelihood of being happy and the probability of being satisfied with various life domains. Descriptive tests suggest that being hopeful about one’s own future well being partly explains the relationship between women’s schooling and happiness. For males, although relatively imprecisely estimated, we find evidence that earning at least a middle school degree results in a decline in subjective well being. Supplemental analysis develops evidence consistent with the view that an imbalance between aspirations and attainments, flowing from extended primary schooling, may be the reason behind this counterintuitive finding among men.

Keywords: Happiness, Subjective Wellbeing, Education

JEL Classification: I21, I28, I31

Suggested Citation

Dursun, Bahadir and Cesur, Resul, Transforming Lives: The Impact of Compulsory Schooling on Hope and Happiness (February 29, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2740048

Bahadir Dursun (Contact Author)

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of economics
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6308
United States

Resul Cesur

University of Connecticut, School of Business - Dept. of Healthcare Economics ( email )

School of Business
2100 Hillside Road
Storrs, CT 06269
United States

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