Terence Cheng, University of Adelaide, Singapore Management

The Impact of health shocks on subjective well-being: Evidence from a monthly panel of elderly Singaporeans
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 - 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
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Myra Yazbeck
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Free of charge
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Abstract The Singapore life Panel is a monthly panel survey of a population representative sample of 50-70 year old Singaporeans and their spouses. Included in the monthly data collection,are questions about new diagnosis of chronic conditions as well as subjective well-being questions asking about overall life satisfaction,as well as specific domains of life including health and social contacts.This paper draws on 22 waves of the survey to study the impact of newly diagnosed chronic conditions on subjective well-being. We focus on major diseases - cancer, stroke, and heart disease. We find evidence of adaptation where respondents' life satisfaction appears to revert to normal within 4-5 months of the health shock. Females appears to suffer a greater loss in life satisfaction following a shock, than males. The impact of specific diseases on life satisfaction varies,with cancer showing a large enduring effect, while heart disease has a shorter effect. Female's report higher satisfaction with social contacts following a health crises. Other covariates that are found to be significant include unemployment, income and widowhood. Female respondents experience an increase in life satisfaction associated with widowhood and males show a reduction.