Economic Modelling 93 pp 499-509

Wellbeing trajectories around key life events are calculated using HILDA data for Australia. Employing a panel quantile approach, a pan-distributional analysis of these major events identifies distinctive adjustment patterns across the subjective wellbeing distribution and differing orders of magnitudes. For all life aspects analysed, immediate impacts tend to be more acute at the lower end of the wellbeing distribution. The implication of this is that if we are concerned with measuring changes in wellbeing, the point at which we measure these changes is important. Given the increasing importance of wellbeing to broader measures of economic prosperity, these findings touch upon a number of important policy areas. A focus upon social ostracization and a reduction in the persistence of long-term unemployment are all suggested as ways of alleviating the detrimental impact of this important policy variable.