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A note on interdependent happiness

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  • Bolle, Friedel
  • Okhrin, Yarema
  • Vogel, Claudia

Abstract

Based on two models of interdependent utilities [Becker, G., 1974. A theory of social interaction, Journal of Political Economy 82, 1064-1093; Fehr, E., Schmidt, K., 1999. A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation, Quarterly Journal of Economics 114, 817-868] we derive a functional relationship between average happiness and the standard deviation of happiness within a country. This hypothesis is supported by an empirical investigation of 71 countries which shows that the average happiness in these countries depends only on income and on the standard deviation of happiness [sigma]. The latter may be partly based on influences beyond income, for which no data are available. Income has the expected positive influence and [sigma] has the expected negative influence, i.e. large differences in "autonomous" happiness have a dampening influence on "effective" happiness which also takes into account the happiness of others.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 713-721

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:713-721

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Happiness Interdependent utility;

References

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  1. Frey, Bruno S. & Benesch, Christine & Stutzer, Alois, 2007. "Does watching TV make us happy?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 283-313, June.
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  5. Charness, Gary & Grosskopf, Brit, 2001. "Relative payoffs and happiness: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-328, July.
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jan Ott, 2005. "Level and Inequality of Happiness in Nations: Does Greater Happiness of a Greater Number Imply Greater Inequality in Happiness?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 397-420, December.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-82, December.
  11. Kritikos, Alexander & Bolle, Friedel, 2001. "Distributional concerns: equity- or efficiency-oriented?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 333-338, December.
  12. Wim Kalmijn & Ruut Veenhoven, 2005. "Measuring Inequality of Happiness in Nations: In Search for Proper Statistics," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 357-396, December.
  13. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
  14. Friedel Bolle & Simon Kemp, 2009. "Can We Compare Life Satisfaction Between Nationalities? Evaluating Actual and Imagined Situations," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 397-408, February.
  15. Ruut Veenhoven & Wim Kalmijn, 2005. "Inequality-Adjusted Happiness in Nations Egalitarianism and Utilitarianism Married in a New Index of Societal Performance," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 421-455, December.
  16. Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh & Heidi Smith & Liang Shao, 1995. "National differences in reported subjective well-being: Why do they occur?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 7-32, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roma Debnath & Ravi Shankar, 2014. "Does Good Governance Enhance Happiness: A Cross Nation Study," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 235-253, March.
  2. Wim Naudé & José Ernesto Amorós & Oscar Cristi, 2011. "‘Surfeiting, The Appetite May Sicken’: Entrepreneurship and the Happiness of Nations," Working Papers 2011/07, Maastricht School of Management.
  3. Mohanty, Madhu S. & Ullah, Aman, 2012. "Direct and indirect effects of happiness on wage: A simultaneous equations approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 143-152.
  4. Wim Naudé & José Amorós & Oscar Cristi, 2014. "“Surfeiting, the appetite may sicken”: entrepreneurship and happiness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 523-540, March.
  5. Nguyen Trung & Kimoon Cheong & Pham Nghi & Won Kim, 2013. "Relationship Between Socio-Economic Values and Wellbeing: An Overview Research in Asia," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 453-472, April.

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