Whilst wellbeing overall has grown in the last few years, a concern is that a ‘disability wellbeing gap’ persists. Such gaps are inconsistent with the psychological literature which predicts adaptation to pre-determined overall life satisfaction following positive and negative life events. Economists have generally assumed that life events such as disability onset generate permanent effects upon happiness by permanently lowering income and consumption opportunities. Helping to resolve this disagreement and provide up-to-date evidence for policy is the motivation behind my PhD thesis in Economics.
In collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Disability Rights UK and using detailed longitudinal information on UK households from Understanding Society, the questions I will address include: what is the wellbeing impact of disability onset? How quickly and by how much does wellbeing adapt post onset? Does adaptation depend on age, race, gender, marital status, education level, income or persistence and severity of the disability? And how do wellbeing impacts extend to spouses and children?
For further information
and recent work from disability@work on disability and wellbeing