nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2023‒10‒09
one paper chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca


  1. More education does make you happier - unless you are unemployed By Bertermann, Alexander; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah

  1. By: Bertermann, Alexander; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal effect of education on life satisfaction, exploring effect heterogeneity along employment status. We use exogenous variation in compulsory schooling requirements and the build-up of new, academically more demanding schools, shifting educational attainment along the entire distribution of schooling. Leveraging plant closures and longitudinal information, we also address the endogeneity of employment status. We find a positive effect of education on life satisfaction for employed individuals, but a negative one for those without a job. We propose an aspiration-augmented utility function as a unifying explanation for the asymmetric effect of education on life satisfaction.
    Keywords: Education, Life satisfaction, Employment status, Compulsory schooling reforms, School openings, Instrumental variable estimation
    JEL: I31 C26
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:dicedp:406&r=hap

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