Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well-being: Results from Four Data Sets – Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne – February 2014

Posted on March 20, 2014. Filed under: Health Status |

Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well-being: Results from Four Data Sets – Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne – February 2014

“There is a large amount of cross-sectional evidence for a midlife low in the life cycle of human happiness and well-being (a ‘U shape’). Yet no genuinely longitudinal inquiry has uncovered evidence for a U-shaped pattern. Thus some researchers believe the U is a statistical artefact. We re-examine this fundamental cross-disciplinary question. We suggest a new test. Drawing on four data sets, and only within-person changes in well-being, we document powerful support for a U-shape in unadjusted longitudinal data without the need for regression equations. The paper’s methodological contribution is to exploit the first-derivative properties of a well-being equation.”

Media release: It’s official: mid-life crises do exist – 20 March 2014

“Social economists from the University of Melbourne have confirmed the age-old suspicion of a dip in human happiness during middle age.”

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