What Predicts a Successful Life? A Life-Course Model of Well-Being

 

Date: 2013-10
By: Andrew E. Clark
Francesca Cornaglia
Richard Layard
Nattavudh Powdthavee
James Vernoit
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1245&r=ltv
If policy-makers care about well-being, they need a recursive model of how adult life-satisfaction is predicted by childhood influences, acting both directly and (indirectly) through adult circumstances. We estimate such a model using the British Cohort Study (1970). The most powerful childhood predictor of adult life-satisfaction is the child’s emotional health. Next comes the child’s conduct. The least powerful predictor is the child’s intellectual development. This has obvious implications for educational policy. Among adult circumstances, family income accounts for only 0.5% of the variance of life-satisfaction. Mental and physical health are much more important.
Keywords: Well-being, Life-satisfaction, Intervention, Model, Life-course, Emotional health, Conduct, Intellectual performance, Success
JEL: A12 D60 H00 I31
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