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Is happiness different from flourishing? Cross-country evidence from the ESS

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  • Andrew E. Clark

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA)

  • Claudia Senik

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), UP4 - Université Paris 4, Paris-Sorbonne - Université Paris IV - Paris Sorbonne - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper appeals to novel survey information on over 30 000 individuals in 21 European countries to address an important and controversial question with respect to well-being: Do cognitive, hedonic and eudaimonic measures of well-being reflect very different aspects of individual quality of life? Or, more precisely, do the subjective appreciation of these dimensions by individuals exhibit different patterns? Our empirical results first reveal a very significant correlation between the measures of happiness and life satisfaction. Second, someone with high “hedonic” well-being (happiness or life satisfaction) is likely to have high eudaimonic well-being as well (flourishing, vitality, resilience and functioning). In addition, the factors that are correlated with the different measures of well-being seem to be very similar at the individual level. For example, marriage, higher income and greater education are associated with greater satisfaction, but also with higher levels of flourishing, vitality, resilience and functioning. This fit is not perfect, however, and men notably report lower levels of hedonic well-being but higher eudaimonic well-being.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00561867.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00561867

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Keywords: happiness ; life satisfaction ; eudaimonia ; European Social Survey;

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  1. BOSSERT, Walter & CHAKRAVARTY, Satya R. & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2009. "Multidimensional Poverty and Material Deprivation," Cahiers de recherche 2009-11, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
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Cited by:
  1. Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia & Stichnoth, Holger, 2009. "You Can't Be Happier than Your Wife: Happiness Gaps and Divorce," IZA Discussion Papers 4599, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory," MPRA Paper 43496, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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