Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Climbing up ladders and sliding down snakes: an empirical assessment of the effect of social mobility on subjective wellbeing

Dolan, Paul and Lordan, Grace (2020) Climbing up ladders and sliding down snakes: an empirical assessment of the effect of social mobility on subjective wellbeing. Review of Economics of the Household. ISSN 1569-5239

[img] Text (Dolan_climbing-up-ladders-and-sliding-down-snakes--published) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (805kB)

Identification Number: 10.1007/s11150-020-09487-x

Abstract

We examine how intergenerational mobility impacts on subjective wellbeing (SWB) drawing on data from the British Cohort Study. Our SWB measures encapsulate both life satisfaction and mental health, and we consider both relative and absolute movements in income. We find that relative income mobility is a significant predictor of life satisfaction and mental health, whether people move upward or downward. For absolute income, mobility is only a consistent predictor of SWB and mental health outcomes if the person moves downwards, and in this case the impact is far larger than relative mobility. For both relative and income mobility, downward movements impact SWB to a greater extent than upward movements, consistent with exhibiting loss aversion. Notably, we find that social class mobility does not affect SWB. We present evidence that the significant relative and absolute mobility effects we find operate partially through financial perceptions and consumption changes which can occur because of income mobility.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/11150
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J60 - General
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2020 09:21
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2020 06:02
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/104059

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics