Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Happiness, Dynamics and Adaptation

Piper, Alan T. (2013): Happiness, Dynamics and Adaptation.

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Abstract

This investigation employs dynamic panel analysis to provide new insights into the phenomenon of adaptation. Using the British Household Panel Survey, it is demonstrated that happiness is largely (but not wholly) contemporaneous. This can help provide explanations for previous findings, where many events entered into in the past are often adapted to (like marriage and divorce), and others are not adapted to (like unemployment and poverty). An event – no matter when entered into - must have a contemporaneous impact on either the life of an individual or an individual’s perception of their life (or both) for it to be reflected in self-reported life satisfaction scores. This contemporaneous finding also explains other results in the literature about the well-being legacy of events.

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