WWP Wellbeing Reading List News: March 2022

The Wellbeing Reading List News: March 2022

View the original WWP Wellbeing Reading List HERE

We asked the World Wellbeing Panel (WWP) panelists to nominate 5 relevant papers in the wellbeing literature that they believed should be added to our Wellbeing Reading List. The nominations are in, and from now until the end of 2022, we will disclose the 24 most-nominated papers.

Papers will be revealed two at a time, starting with those that had the fewest nominations and using the number of citations in 2021 (according to Google Scholar) when there are ties.

The Wellbeing Reading List is managed by WWP panelist Daniela Andrén (Örebro University) and the managing committee of the World Wellbeing Panel.

Please use the hashtag #WellbeingReadingList on social media to share and comment on the papers.

March 2022

Blanchflower, David G., and Andrew J. Oswald. (2008). Is Well-being U-shaped over the life cycle? Social science & medicine, 66.8, 1733-1749.
Total Google Scholar citations in 2021: 2073

This paper is one of the first to examine how wellbeing evolves over time, while controlling for other variables that also vary over the life cycle, such as income, labor market status or family composition. This paper presents evidence of wellbeing being U-shaped through life with a minimum in the middle age. The authors argue that they can disentangle the age from the cohort effect. They find the same U-shape with age for mental health. More recent papers have confirmed and explore the channels that explain this U-shaped correlation (Schwandt, 2016, JEBO, 122:75-87), while Frijters and Beatton (2012, JEBO, 82: 525-542) have found that the downturn in mid-life looks much less pronounced when accounting for selectivity, and that there is a large downturn at the end of life when people lose health and approach death. So the whole-life trajectory is more like a wave.

Van Praag, B. M. S., Frijters, P., & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A. (2003). The anatomy of subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 51(1), 29.
Total Google Scholar citations in 2021: 1199

This paper presented a full model of wellbeing in which, for the first time, a two-layer model was proposed. In this model, wellbeing depends on the different subjective domain satisfactions (such as health, financial situation, job, leisure, housing, and environment) which, in turn, depend on individual or household objectively measurable variables, such as age, income, or family composition.

View the BEST/World Wellbeing Panel page HERE.