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How much happiness is there in the world? A cross-country study

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  • Vani Borooah

Abstract

This paper complements the burgeoning literature on country-specific studies of happiness by taking a global look at happiness and its determinants. In so doing, it makes two contributions. First, it presents indicators of happiness that are 'equity adjusted' and compares their values to those of unadjusted indicators. This comparison shows that countries with the lowest mean happiness scores have their unhappiness compounded when these means are adjusted to take account of the glaring inequality in their inter-personal distribution of happiness. Second, using data on nearly 113 000 respondents, drawn from 80 countries, it shows that people everywhere want broadly the same things in order to be happy: faith in a deity; a decent standard of living; a job; a good family and social life; a good neighbourhood in which to live; and, above all, good health.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
Pages: 483-488

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Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:13:y:2006:i:8:p:483-488

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References

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  1. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
  2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Borooah, Vani, 2009. "Comparing levels of job satisfaction in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe," MPRA Paper 23664, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
  3. Rachel Margolis & Mikko Myrskylä, 2010. "A global perspective on happiness and fertility," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-025, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  4. Sibel Selim, 2008. "Life Satisfaction and Happiness in Turkey," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 531-562, September.
  5. Junji Kageyama, 2012. "Happiness and Sex Difference in Life Expectancy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(5), pages 947-967, October.
  6. Junji Kageyama, 2009. "Happiness and sex difference in life expectancy," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  7. NĂ©stor Gandelman & Rafael Porzecanski, 2013. "Happiness Inequality: How Much is Reasonable?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 257-269, January.

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