Education, income and happiness: panel evidence for the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Empirical Economics


Felix R. FitzRoy and Michael A. Nolan

Publication date


Using panel data from the BHPS and its Understanding Society extension, we study life satisfaction (LS) and income over nearly two decades, for samples split by education, and age, to our knowledge for the first time. The highly educated went from lowest to highest LS, though their average income was always higher. In spite of rapid income growth up to 2008/2009, the less educated showed no rise in LS, while highly educated LS rose after the crash despite declining real income. In panel LS regressions with individual fixed effects, none of the income variables was significant for the highly educated.

Volume and page numbers

58, 2573-2592





Psychology, Education, Economics, Income Dynamics, Well Being, Life Course Analysis and Higher Education


Open Access; This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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  1. Education, income and happiness: panel evidence for the UK