Longitudinal evidence for a midlife nadir in human well-being: results from four data sets

Publication type

Journal Article

Authors

Publication date

October 15, 2015

Summary:

There is a large amount of cross-sectional evidence for a midlife low in
the life cycle of human happiness and well-being (a ‘U shape’). Yet no
genuinely longitudinal inquiry has uncovered evidence for a U-shaped
pattern. Thus, some researchers believe the U is a statistical artefact.
We re-examine this fundamental cross-disciplinary question. We suggest a
new test. Drawing on four data sets, and only within-person changes in
well-being, we document powerful support for a U shape in longitudinal
data (without the need for formal regression equations). The article's
methodological contribution is to use the first-derivative properties of
a well-being equation.

Published in

The Economic Journal

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12256

ISSN

130133

Subjects

Notes

Online Early

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#523373

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest