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Migration as a test of the happiness set point hypothesis : evidence from immigration to Canada

Author: John F Helliwell; Aneta Bonikowska; Hugh Shiplett; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2016.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 22601.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Strong versions of the set point hypothesis argue that subjective well-being measures reflect each individual's own personality and that deviations from that set point will tend to be short-lived, rendering them poor measures of the quality of life. International migration provides an excellent test of this hypothesis, since life circumstances and average subjective well-being differ greatly among countries. Life  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: John F Helliwell; Aneta Bonikowska; Hugh Shiplett; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 959231619
Notes: "September 2016."
Description: 1 online resource (42 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 22601.
Responsibility: John F. Helliwell, Aneta Bonikowska, Hugh Shiplett.

Abstract:

Strong versions of the set point hypothesis argue that subjective well-being measures reflect each individual's own personality and that deviations from that set point will tend to be short-lived, rendering them poor measures of the quality of life. International migration provides an excellent test of this hypothesis, since life circumstances and average subjective well-being differ greatly among countries. Life satisfaction scores for immigrants to Canada from up to 100 source countries are compared to those in the countries where they were born. With or without various adjustments for selection effects, the average levels and distributions of life satisfaction scores among immigrants mimic those of other Canadians rather than those in their source countries and regions. This supports other evidence that subjective life evaluations, especially when averaged across individuals, are primarily driven by life circumstances, and respond correspondingly when those circumstances change.

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