Chapter

The Impact of Past and Future on Present Satisfaction

Bernard Van Praag

in Happiness Quantified

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226146
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191718595 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226146.003.0007
The Impact of Past and Future on Present Satisfaction

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This chapter examines the theory that the individual's current satisfaction will depend on his or her own past experience and expected future. The study assumes that both the past and the future have an effect, and that the impact distribution is described by a mass-density function on the time axis. Estimates of this function show that its position and shape depend on age and other individual variables. The young and elderly place more weight on the past, while those in mid-life give more weight to the future.

Keywords: individual satisfaction; past experience; expected future; individual-welfare function; mass-density function

Chapter.  10207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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