Alternative Values-Based 'Recipes' for Life Satisfaction: German Results with an Australian Replication

60 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2018

See all articles by Bruce Headey

Bruce Headey

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Gert Wagner

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Human Development

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Date Written: 2018

Abstract

In most research on Life Satisfaction (LS), it is assumed that the covariates of high and low LS are the same for everyone, or at least everyone in the West. In this paper, analysing data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, with a limited replication based on Australian panel data, we estimate models of alternative ‘recipes’ for LS. There appear to be at least four distinct ‘recipes’, which are primarily based on the values of different population sub-sets. These values are: altruistic values, family values, materialistic values and religious values. By a ‘recipe’ for LS we mean a linked set of values, behavioural choices and domain satisfactions, which appear to be held together by a person’s values, and which prove to have substantial effects on LS. Our German and Australian evidence indicates that individuals who follow recipes based on altruistic, family or religious values record above average long term LS, whereas the materialistic values ‘recipe’ is associated with below average LS.

Keywords: life satisfaction, alternative recipes, values/life priorities, behavioural choices, domain satisfactions, panel data, SOEP

JEL Classification: C540, I300, Z130

Suggested Citation

Headey, Bruce and Wagner, Gert, Alternative Values-Based 'Recipes' for Life Satisfaction: German Results with an Australian Replication (2018). CESifo Working Paper No. 7234, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3275408

Bruce Headey (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Gert Wagner

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Human Development ( email )

Lentzeallee 94
D-14195 Berlin, 14195
Germany

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