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What Buys Happiness? Analyzing Trends in Subjective Well-Being in 15 European Countries, 1973-2002

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Author Info

  • Bjørnskov, Christian

    ()
    (Aarhus School of Business)

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Pedersen, Peder J.

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

Abstract

Trends in life satisfaction are examined across 15 European countries employing a modified version of Kendall's Tau. Analyses show that GDP growth relative to growth in the preceding period is a significant determinant of the trends; the same holds for the growth in life expectancy while the contemporaneous growth in the current account balance exerts a positive influence. Relative unemployment growth becomes significant when interacted with a measure of the long-run political ideology of the median voter. The effects of relative GDP growth vary with the political ideology variable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1716.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Happiness Studies, 2008, 9 (2), 317-330
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1716

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Keywords: subjective well-being; economic factors;

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  1. Randolph Mullis, 1992. "Measures of economic well-being as predictors of psychological well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 119-135, March.
  2. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  3. Kenny, Charles, 1999. "Does Growth Cause Happiness, or Does Happiness Cause Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 3-25.
  4. Bruce Headey & Ruud Muffels & Mark Wooden, 2004. "Money Doesn't Buy Happiness … or Does It? A Reconsideration Based on the Combined Effects of Wealth, Income and Consumption," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
  7. John F. Helliwell, 2002. "How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Hirshleifer & TYLER G. SHUMWAY, 2004. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Finance, EconWPA 0412004, EconWPA.
  9. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  11. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  12. Frank, Robert H, 1989. "Frames of Reference and the Quality of Life," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 80-85, May.
  13. Saunders, Edward M, Jr, 1993. "Stock Prices and Wall Street Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1337-45, December.
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