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Journal Article

Smile or die: can subjective well-being increase survival in the face of substantive health impairments?

Authors

Publication date

Sep 2018

Summary

A robust relationship between subjective well-being and mortality has been established in the literature, but few studies address how subjective well-being interacts with the impact of concrete diseases on survival. In addition, issues of endogeneity between bad health and subjective well-being are ignored when it comes to survival. We assess both for the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS; 1991–2008) and specifically analyze whether subjective well-being predicts better chances of surviving diseases such as cancer or heart conditions. We find that several of the studied diseases consistently decrease survival chances in our sample (e.g. hazard ratio 3.47 for cancer), also when controlling for the severity of health problems. But our results do not suggest that well-being mitigates the effect these diseases have on mortality. Life satisfaction also does not predict longer survival in the data set if we control for the endogeneity of subjective well-being.

Published in

Economics & Human Biology

Volume and page numbers

31 , 209 -227

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2018.08.004

ISSN

16

Subjects

Psychology, Well Being, and Health

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1646428~S5


Related publications

  1. Smile or die: can subjective well-being increase survival in the face of substantive health impairments?

    Martin Binder and Guido Buenstorf

    1. Psychology
    2. Well Being
    3. Health

#525309


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