Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges
This paper is an empirical study of partial hedonic adaptation. It provides longitudinal evidence that people who become disabled go on to exhibit considerable recovery in mental well-being. In fixed-effects equations we estimate the degree of hedonic adaptation at — depending on the severity of the disability — approximately 30% to 50%. Our calculations should be viewed as illustrative; more research, on other data sets, is needed. Nevertheless, we discuss potential implications of our results for economists and the courts.
Journal of Public Economics
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