The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use
Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation

Panel on Measuring Subjective Well-Being in a Policy-Relevant Framework

Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
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The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation Panel on Measuring Subjective Well-Being in a Policy-Relevant Framework Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Task Order No. N01-OD-42139 between the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences, and award ID# 10000592 between the U.K. Economic and Social Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences. Support for the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (award number SES- 1024012). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-26661-1 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-26661-0 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council (2012). The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation. Panel on Measuring Subjective Well-Being in a Policy-Relevant Framework. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Panel on Measuring Subjective Well-Being in a Policy-Relevant Framework ARTHUR A. STONE (Chair), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stony Brook University NORMAN M. BRADBURN, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago LAURA L. CARSTENSEN, Department of Psychology, Stanford University EDWARD F. DIENER, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign PAUL H. DOLAN, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science CAROL L. GRAHAM, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC V. JOSEPH HOTZ, Department of Economics, Duke University DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University ARIE KAPTEYN, The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA AMANDA SACKER, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, United Kingdom NORBERT SCHWARZ, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan JUSTIN WOLFERS, Business Economics and Public Policy Department, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania CHRISTOPHER MACKIE, Study Director ANTHONY S. MANN, Program Associate v

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Committee on National Statistics 2012-2013 LAWRENCE D. BROWN (Chair), Department of Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania JOHN M. ABOWD, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University DAVID CARD, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley ALICIA CARRIQUIRY, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University CONSTANTINE GATSONIS, Center for Statistical Sciences, Brown University JAMES S. HOUSE, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan MICHAEL HOUT, Survey Research Center, University of California, Berkeley SALLIE ANN KELLER, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada LISA LYNCH, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University SALLIE C. MORTON, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh RUTH D. PETERSON, Criminal Justice Research Center, The Ohio State University EDWARD H. SHORTLIFFE, Columbia University and Arizona State University HAL STERN, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine JOHN H. THOMPSON, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago ROGER TOURANGEAU, Westat, Rockville, MD CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director vi

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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that assist the institution in making its reports as sound as possible, and to ensure that the reports meet institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The panel thanks the following individuals for their review of the interim report: Daniel S. Hamermesh, Department of Economics, The University of Texas; Richard E. Lucas, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University; Robert D. Putnam, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Dylan Smith, Associate Professor, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics, Stony Brook University Medical Center; Frank Stafford, Department of Economics, University of Michigan; and Roger Tourangeau, Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of the report was overseen by Edward Perrin (retired), Department of Health Services, University of Washington. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that the independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of the report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the National Research Council. The panel would also like to thank Rachel Krantz-Kent, an economist in the Division of Labor Force Statistics at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who attended the panel's first meeting and presented a very informative overview of the American Time Use Survey. vii

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Contents Summary 1 1. Background and Overview 2 1.1. Structure and Content of ATUS and the SWB Module 3 1.2. Objectives of the SWB Module 6 1.3. Uses of Data on Subjective Well-Being 7 2. Ongoing and Potential Research Applications 9 2.1. Time Use, Emotional Well-Being, and Unemployment 9 2.2. Assessing Validity of Short Versions of the Day Reconstruction Method 9 2.3. Episode-Based Pain Studies 10 2.4. End-of-Life Care 11 2.5. Transportation 11 3. Assessment 13 3.1. Value of the SWB Module Data to Date 13 3.2. Cost of Discontinuing the Module 14 3.3. Value of a Third Wave 15 References 18 Appendix: Biographical Sketches of Panel Members 19 ix

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