|This centre is a member of The LSE Research Laboratory [RLAB]: CASE | CEE | CEP | FMG | SERC | STICERD||Cookies?|
Paper No' CEPDP1229: | Full paper
Save Reference as: BibTeX File | EndNote Import File
Keywords: Life satisfaction; expectations; aging
JEL Classification: A12;I30;D84
Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
Share: Google Bookmarks | Facebook | Twitter
Abstract:A large literature in behavioral and social sciences has found that human wellbeing follows a U-shape over age. Some theories have assumed that the U-shape is caused by unmet expectations that are felt painfully in midlife but beneficially abandoned and experienced with less regret during old age. In a unique panel of 132,609 life satisfaction expectations matched to subsequent realizations, I find people to err systematically in predicting their life satisfaction over the life cycle. They expect -- incorrectly -- increases in young adulthood and decreases during old age. These errors are large, ranging from 9.8% at age 21 to -4.5% at age 68, they are stable over time and observed across socio-economic groups. These findings support theories that unmet expectations drive the age U-shape in wellbeing.
Copyright © CEP & LSE 2003 - 2014 | LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE | Tel: +44(0)20 7955 7673 | Email: email@example.com | Site updated 12 March 2014