We are grateful to seminar participants at the 4th Conference of German Socio-Economic Panel Users (Berlin), the 3rd ISQOLS Conference (Girona), IZA (Bonn) and the 24th JMA (Fribourg) for comments and suggestions. We have had useful conversations with Dick Easterlin, François Gardes, John Haisken-DeNew, Dan Hamermesh, Bruce Headey, Hendrik Jürges, Danny Kahneman, Richard Layard, Guy Mayraz, Bernard van Praag and Alois Stutzer. We thank three anonymous referees for very pertinent comments. Agnès Puymoyen made our graphs readable. The data used in this publication were made available to us by the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Berlin. We are grateful to the CNRS for financial support.
Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis*
Version of Record online: 29 MAY 2008
© The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2008
The Economic Journal
Volume 118, Issue 529, pages F222–F243, June 2008
How to Cite
Clark, A. E., Diener, E., Georgellis, Y. and Lucas, R. E. (2008), Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis. The Economic Journal, 118: F222–F243. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2008.02150.x
- Issue online: 29 MAY 2008
- Version of Record online: 29 MAY 2008
We look for evidence of habituation in twenty waves of German panel data: do individuals tend to return to some baseline level of well-being after life and labour market events? Although the strongest life satisfaction effect is often at the time of the event, we find significant lag and lead effects. We cannot reject the hypothesis of complete adaptation to marriage, divorce, widowhood, birth of child and layoff. However, there is little evidence of adaptation to unemployment for men. Men are somewhat more affected by labour market events (unemployment and layoffs) than are women but in general the patterns of anticipation and adaptation are remarkably similar by sex.