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Happiness in Europe: Cross-Country Differences in the Determinants of Subjective Well-Being

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Author Info

  • Pedersen, Peder J.

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Schmidt, Torben Dall

    ()
    (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

The purpose in the present paper is to use individual panel data in the European Community Household Panel to analyse the impact on self-reported satisfaction from a number of economic and demographic variables. The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion of the relationship between life satisfaction and income. The panel property of the data makes it possible to study also the impact on satisfaction from income changes as well as the impact from acceleration in income and changes in labour market status on changes in satisfaction. A number of demographic variables and individual attitude indicators are also entered into the analysis of both the level of satisfaction and the change in satisfaction from one wave of the survey to the next. We find a strong impact from the level of income in all countries, an impact from change and acceleration in income for a smaller number of countries, a strong impact from most changes in labour market status and finally important effects from a number of demographic variables.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4538.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Happiness in Europe: Cross-country differences in the determinants of satisfaction with main activity' in: Journal of Socio Economics, 2011, 40 (5), 480 - 489
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4538

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Keywords: satisfaction; income; labour market status; health;

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References

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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  2. 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, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne wp2004n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  5. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2008. "Happiness Adaptation to Income beyond "Basic Needs"," NBER Working Papers 14539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mentzakis, Emmanouil & Moro, Mirko, 2009. "The poor, the rich and the happy: Exploring the link between income and subjective well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 147-158, January.
  7. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  8. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  9. Mark A. Cohen, 2008. "The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages S325-S353, 06.
  10. Bruce Headey & Ruud Muffels & Mark Wooden, 2008. "Money Does not Buy Happiness: Or Does It? A Reassessment Based on the Combined Effects of Wealth, Income and Consumption," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 65-82, May.
  11. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  12. Scoppa Vincenzo & Ponzo Michela, 2008. "An Empirical Study of Happiness in Italy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-23, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Fiorillo, Damiano & Nappo, Nunzia, 2011. "Job satisfaction in Italy: individual characteristics and social relations," MPRA Paper 31133, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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