LONGITUDINAL EVIDENCE FOR A MIDLIFE NADIR IN HUMAN WELL-BEING: RESULTS FROM FOUR DATA SETS
AuthorCheng, TC; Powdthavee, N; Oswald, AJ
Source TitleThe Economic Journal
AffiliationMelbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCheng, T. C., Powdthavee, N. & Oswald, A. J. (2017). LONGITUDINAL EVIDENCE FOR A MIDLIFE NADIR IN HUMAN WELL-BEING: RESULTS FROM FOUR DATA SETS. ECONOMIC JOURNAL, 127 (599), pp.126-142. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12256.
Access StatusOpen Access
NHMRC Grant codeNHMRC/1019605
There is a large amount of cross-sectional evidence for a midlife low in the life cycle of human happiness and well-being (a 'U shape'). Yet no genuinely longitudinal inquiry has uncovered evidence for a U-shaped pattern. Thus, some researchers believe the U is a statistical artefact. We re-examine this fundamental cross-disciplinary question. We suggest a new test. Drawing on four data sets, and only within-person changes in well-being, we document powerful support for a U shape in longitudinal data (without the need for formal regression equations). The article's methodological contribution is to use the first-derivative properties of a well-being equation.
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