February 12th, 2008

At work, Self portrait

The European dream?

"Although the birth-cohort coefficients (on Born<1900, Born 1900-1910, etc) are not always individually well-defined, there are signs from the Tables that the United States and Europe differ in the time structure of the cohort effects upon happiness. In Tables 1 and 2, there is evidence that successive American birth cohorts have become progressively less happy between 1900 and today. This finding is reminiscent of one of Easterlin’s (2006), although he uses a different statistical method.

In Europe, by contrast, Tables 3 and 4 suggest that wellbeing has been rising through recent generations. This is particularly clear for males. The coefficient of 0.3206 (t = 2.36) for the final cohort, in the fifth column of Table 3, implies that the most recent generation of European men is ceteris paribus the happiest of the 20th century."

Andrew Oswald, Is Wellbeing U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?