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CEP discussion paper
Happy Talk: Mode of Administration Effects on Subjective Well-Being
Paul Dolan and Georgios Kavetsos
July 2012
Paper No' CEPDP1159:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: D60; I3; Z18

Tags: subjective well-being; happiness; survey mode

Research on the measurement of subjective well-being (SWB) has escalated in recent years. This study contributes to the literature by examining how SWB reports differ by mode of survey administration. Using data from the 2011 Annual Population Survey in the UK, we find that individuals consistently report higher SWB over the phone compared to face-to-face interviews. We also show that the determinants of SWB differ significantly by survey mode. We must therefore account for mode of administration effects in research into SWB and its determinants.