What drives the subjective feeling of well-being in old age?

Empirical analysis and comparison of different measures to improve subjective well-being

  • Life satisfaction
  • Look back on life with happiness
  • Meaningful life

Development of testable hypotheses for evaluation of experience and circumstances at different measures of subjective well-being (SWB)

Influence of present circumstances vs. past events

Data basis:
SHARE: Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, http://www.share-project.org/data-access.html
(data can be either be accessed individually or delivered for this assignment only)

Introductory literature (attached):
Clark, A. (2015). Is Happiness the Best Measure of Well-Being? Mimeo: Paris School of Economics.
Baumeister, R.F., K.D. Vohs, J.L. Aaker and E.N. Garbinsky (2013). Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(6): 505–16.

Topic belongs to:
new/modern political economy, public choice, public economics, economic behavior model


  • Autor should best know how to use Excel, R (www.r-project.org) or, less welcome, Strata
  • Thesis should consist of 20 pages, max. 8’000 words (appendix and references excluded)
  • On Tuesday, October 6th, I need a disposition on 2-3 powerpoint slides or on a word document for a 5 minute presentation. It should include:
    o Description and limitation of the problem
    o Structured presentation of the ideas (“in the main part this and that will be done” etc), possibly a screenshot of the data from Stata or Excel
    o Connection to the scientific literature (study of literature)
    o Further planned working steps and structure
  • Deadline for completion is November 15th
  • Will also need 10 slides for a 15-minute presentation of the work by then, with following contents:
    o Short presentation of the topic
    o Problem definition
    o Red thread of the thesis
    o Most important arguments and findings
    o Reference to open questions or problems encountered while working

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