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An Empirical Study of Happiness in Italy

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  • Scoppa Vincenzo

    ()
    (Università della Calabria)

  • Ponzo Michela

    ()
    (Università della Calabria)

Abstract

This study analyzes the determinants of individual subjective well-being (happiness) in Italy by estimating microeconometric happiness equations in order to examine the effects of socio-demographic characteristics and economic conditions on subjective evaluations of happiness. Consistent with the findings in other advanced countries we find that income and wealth increase happiness and that unemployment is extremely bad for subjective well-being. In addition, we obtain some novel and interesting results for Italy including the following: income obtained by public transfers has a limited impact on subjective well-being; education increases happiness, even when controlling for income; Southern residents and individuals living in large cities are less happy; and social capital makes people happier. Finally, individuals care about relative income, in the sense that their happiness is negatively influenced by the income of others in their group of reference. Our results show that several non-economic variables are extremely important for subjective well-being.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 8 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-23

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:15

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Cited by:
  1. M. Pittau & Roberto Zelli & Andrew Gelman, 2010. "Economic Disparities and Life Satisfaction in European Regions," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 339-361, April.
  2. Néstor Gándelman & Rubén Hernández-Murillo, 2009. "The impact of inflation and unemployment on subjective personal and country evaluations," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 107-126.
  3. Ming-Chang Tsai, 2011. "If GDP is Not the Answer, What is the Question? The Juncture of Capabilities, Institutions and Measurement in the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Report," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 102(3), pages 363-372, July.
  4. Francesco Ferrante, 2009. "Education, Aspirations and Life Satisfaction," Working Papers, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche 2009-03, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.
  5. Pedersen, Peder J. & Schmidt, Torben Dall, 2011. "Happiness in Europe," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 480-489.
  6. Yamamura, Eiji, 2010. "The effects of information asymmetry and government size on happiness: A case study from Japan," MPRA Paper 27182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Damiano Fiorillo, 2012. "Volunteer work and domain satisfactions: evidence from Italy," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(2), pages 97-124, January.
  8. Michela Ponzo, 2011. "Occupational Status and Individual Subjective Well-Being in Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, September.
  9. Anna Maffioletti & Agata Maida & Francesco Scacciati, 2013. "Survey Design and Response Analysis: a Study on Happiness, Life Satisfaction and Well-being in Piedmont, a Region of Italy," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 131, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  10. Francesco Ferrante, 2014. "Great expectations The unintended consequences of educational choices," Working Papers, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium 67, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  11. Pedersen, Peder J. & Schmidt, Torben Dall, 2009. "Happiness in Europe: Cross-Country Differences in the Determinants of Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 4538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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