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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

Chen says job fit, job happiness can be achieved over time

Highlights

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?

Publication Abstract

Benjamin, Daniel J., Miles Kimball, O. Heffetz, and A. Rees-Jones. 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?" American Economic Review, 102(5): 2083-2110.

Would people choose what they think would maximize their subjective well-being (SWB)? We present survey respondents with hypothetical scenarios and elicit both choice and predicted SWB rankings of two alternatives. While choice and predicted SWB rankings usually coincide in our data, we find systematic reversals. We identify factors-such as predicted sense of purpose, control over one's life, family happiness, and social status-that help explain hypothetical choice controlling for predicted SWB. We explore how our findings vary by SWB measure and by scenario. Our results have implications regarding the use of SWB survey questions as a proxy for utility.

DOI:10.1257/aer.102.5.2083 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3532045. (Pub Med Central)

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