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Individual Wellbeing in a Dynamic Perspective



We explore the determinants of individual wellbeing as measured by self-reported levels of satisfaction with income and life. Making use of the German Socio-Economic Panel, we provide empirical evidence for wellbeing depending on absolute and relative income levels in a dynamic framework where status and signal effects play a role. This finding holds after controlling for other factors in a multivariate setting. The main novelty is the consideration of dynamic aspects: the individual's own history and the relative income performance with respect to other society members play major roles in the assessment of individual wellbeing.