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Abstract:

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CEP Discussion Paper
What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-Course Model of Well-Being
Andrew E. Clark, Francesca Cornaglia, Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee and James Vernoit October 2013
Paper No' CEPDP1245:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: A12; D60; H00; I31


Tags: well-being; life-satisfaction; intervention; model; life-course; emotional health; conduct; intellectual performance; success

If policy-makers care about well-being, they need a recursive model of how adult life-satisfaction is predicted by childhood influences, acting both directly and (indirectly) through adult circumstances. We estimate such a model using the British Cohort Study (1970). The most powerful childhood predictor of adult life-satisfaction is the child’s emotional health. Next comes the child’s conduct. The least powerful predictor is the child’s intellectual development. This has obvious implications for educational policy. Among adult circumstances, family income accounts for only 0.5% of the variance of life-satisfaction. Mental and physical health are much more important.

This paper has been published as:
What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-Course Model of WellBeing, Richard Layard, Andrew Clark, Francesca Cornaglia, Nattavudh Powdthavee and James Vernoit, Economic Journal, Feature Issue, Vol. 124, Issue 580, pp. F720-F738, November 2014
This paper has been published as:
Son of my Father? The Life-cycle Analysis of Well-being: Introduction, Andrew Clark, Economic Journal, Feature Issue, Vol. 124, Issue 580, November 2014