Alternative Values-Based 'Recipes' for Life Satisfaction: German Results with an Australian Replication

60 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by Bruce Headey

Bruce Headey

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Berlin University of Technology; German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)

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Abstract

In most research on Life Satisfaction (LS), it is assumed that the covariates of high and low LS are the same for everyone, or at least everyone in the West. In this paper, analysing data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, with a limited replication based on Australian panel data, we estimate models of alternative 'recipes' for LS. There appear to be at least four distinct 'recipes', which are primarily based on the values of different population sub-sets.These values are: altruistic values, family values, materialistic values and religious values. By a 'recipe' for LS we mean a linked set of values, behavioural choices and domain satisfactions, which appear to be held together by a person's values, and which prove to have substantial effects on LS. Our German and Australian evidence indicates that individuals who follow recipes based on altruistic, family or religious values record above average long term LS, whereas the materialistic values 'recipe' is associated with below average LS.

Keywords: life satisfaction, alternative recipes, values/life priorities, behavioural choices, domain satisfactions, panel data, SOEP

JEL Classification: C55, I31, Z13

Suggested Citation

Headey, Bruce and Wagner, Gert G., Alternative Values-Based 'Recipes' for Life Satisfaction: German Results with an Australian Replication. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11818, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3253477

Bruce Headey (Contact Author)

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

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Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Gert G. Wagner

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

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+49 30 8 978 9200 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/programme/jsp/MA.jsp?language=en&uid=gwagner

Berlin University of Technology ( email )

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Berlin, 10623
Germany
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German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) ( email )

DIW Berlin
10108 Berlin, Berlin
Germany
+49 30 8978 9290 (Phone)
+49 30 8978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw/en/soep

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