Objective confirmation of subjective measures of human well-being: evidence from the U.S.A.
ABSTRACT A huge research literature, across the behavioral and social sciences, uses information on individuals' subjective well-being. These are responses to questions--asked by survey interviewers or medical personnel--such as, "How happy do you feel on a scale from 1 to 4?" Yet there is little scientific evidence that such data are meaningful. This study examines a 2005-2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System random sample of 1.3 million U.S. citizens. Life satisfaction in each U.S. state is measured. Across America, people's answers trace out the same pattern of quality of life as previously estimated, from solely nonsubjective data, in one branch of economics (so-called "compensating differentials" neoclassical theory, originally from Adam Smith). There is a state-by-state match (r = 0.6, P < 0.001) between subjective and objective well-being. This result has some potential to help to unify disciplines.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Stephen Wu, May 09, 2015
SourceAvailable from: Stephen Wu[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This paper examines the relationship between pregnancy and life satisfaction for US women of childbearing age using a large sample from the 2005 to 2009 waves of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The results show strong differences by race and ethnicity. Pregnancy has a significant positive correlation with happiness for Whites and Hispanics, but no relationship for Blacks. This differential in the marginal effect of pregnancy is in addition to a general decrease in satisfaction for Black women, independent of being pregnant. The results cannot be explained by differences in other demographics such age, income, education, or physical health status. Within each racial/ethnic group, the results are consistent across different categories for all these characteristics. Racial and ethnic differences in the effects of pregnancy on support from others can partly explain this result. For Whites and Hispanic women, pregnancy increases their feelings of social and emotional support from others, while pregnant Black women report lower levels of social and emotional support than non-pregnant Black women.Review of Economics of the Household 01/2014; DOI:10.1007/s11150-014-9239-8 · 0.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We provided evidence of the time dedicated to family by undergraduate students, in the context of their particular work–family conflict, and we then evaluated their level of satisfaction. We did so by differentiating four academic areas: Economics, Arts and Philosophy, Science and Engineering, and Health. We compared our evidence to that obtained for the dedication of students to society and to friends. Our results indicated that Arts and Philosophy students exhibited a greater probability of contributing time to the family. Regarding satisfaction, we found no differences in the contribution to family by field of study, although students of Health contributed more of their time and income to NGOs, and students of Arts and Philosophy contributed more of their time to society, relative to students of Economics. Furthermore, we found that students in Arts and Philosophy contributed less of their time to helping friends, relative to students of Economics, and that students in other branches of knowledge obtained higher satisfaction regarding their contribution to family, society, and friends, than did students of Economics.Journal of Family and Economic Issues 03/2014; 36(1). DOI:10.1007/s10834-014-9399-y
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many artists are prone to high unemployment and low incomes suggesting low job satisfaction. Our analysis including 49 countries paints a different picture. On average artists enjoy higher job satisfaction than other employees, mainly due to more autonomy.Economics Letters 10/2013; 121(1):15-18. DOI:10.1016/j.econlet.2013.06.016 · 0.45 Impact Factor