Year: 2008 Source: San Francisco, CA: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper Series, (August 2008). 17p. SIEC No: 20100315

In a recent paper, Daly, Wilson, & Johnson (2007) proposed using data on suicide as a revealed preferences (outcome-based) measure of well-being & found strong evidence that reference-group income negatively affected suicide risk. In this paper, the authors compare & contrast the empirical patterns of subjective well-being & suicide data. It was found the two have very little in common in aggregate data (time series & cross-sectional), but have a strikingly strong relationship in terms of their determinants in individual-level, multivariate regressions. This latter result cross-validates suicide & subjective well-being microdata as useful & complementary indicators of latent utility. (15 refs.)