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Well-being Changes from Year to Year: A Comparison of Current, Remembered and Predicted Life Satisfaction

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Marcus Klemm

In: Journal of Happiness Studies (online first) (2021),


I study yearly changes in personal well-being combining data on current, retrospective and prospective life satisfaction from the German Socio-Economic Panel. Predicted and remembered changes in life satisfaction are both positive on average and match well, whereas the average year to year-change inferred from reports of current life satisfaction is negative. Retrospective assessments of past well-being are strongly influenced by current life satisfaction, significantly related to past life satisfaction and linked to past predictions of current satisfaction. Due to different problems related to the ordinal measurement scale, changes in subjective reference systems and recall ability, the analysis overall suggests that direct reports of intertemporal changes provide valuable additional information for the analysis of individual well-being.

Themen: Wohlbefinden

Keywords: Life satisfaction; Intertemporal comparison; Response shift; Memory bias; Forecast error; Adaptation
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