Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 539–552 | Cite as

Income Expectations and Happiness: Evidence from British Panel Data

  • Tufan EkiciEmail author
  • Selda Koydemir


We analyze the impact of households’ subjective current and future financial measures on their well-being by using three waves of a longitudinal data set—Understanding Society -from the UK. We use a fixed-effects regression method to get rid of individual heterogeneity, and find that even after controlling for some demographic characteristics, including equivalent household income, subjective measures of current and future financial well-being are still significant correlates of life satisfaction in UK households. The same results hold for income satisfaction and mental health. Our main contribution however is showing that positive surprises in financial expectations decrease the subjective well-being of the household’s, and vice versa for negative surprises. This result shows that even though a household’s expectations of its future financial situation may not be accurate, any unexpected shock regarding household income could be significantly correlated with subjective well-being.


Financial expectations Life satisfaction Subjective well-being Happiness Expectation surprise 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus, Economics ProgramMersin 10Turkey
  2. 2.Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus, Guidance and Psychological Counseling ProgramMersin 10Turkey

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