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The French Unhappiness Puzzle: The Cultural Dimension of Happiness

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  • Senik, Claudia

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

This article sheds light on the important differences in self-declared happiness across countries of equivalent affluence. It hinges on the different happiness statements of natives and immigrants in a set of European countries to disentangle the influence of objective circumstances versus psychological and cultural factors. The latter turns out to be of non-negligible importance in explaining international heterogeneity in happiness. In some countries, such as France, they are responsible for 80% of the country's unobserved idiosyncratic source of (un-)happiness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6175.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6175

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Keywords: happiness; subjective well-being; international comparisons; France; immigration; European Social Survey;

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References

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  1. Felicia Huppert & Nic Marks & Andrew Clark & Johannes Siegrist & Alois Stutzer & Joar Vittersø & Morten Wahrendorf, 2009. "Measuring Well-being Across Europe: Description of the ESS Well-being Module and Preliminary Findings," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 301-315, May.
  2. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Arie Kapteyn & Arthur Van Soest & James P Smith, 2008. "Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 200808, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," Working Papers, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics 05-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  6. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Will GDP growth increase happiness in developing countries?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564985, HAL.
  7. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "Regulation and Distrust," NBER Working Papers 14648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  9. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2008. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alberto F. Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," NBER Working Papers 14282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
  14. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2006. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 552-561, 04-05.
  15. Karin Amit, 2010. "Determinants of Life Satisfaction Among Immigrants from Western Countries and from the FSU in Israel," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 515-534, May.
  16. 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).
  17. repec:pse:psecon:2010-43 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Betz, William & Simpson, Nicole B., 2013. "The Effects of International Migration on the Well-Being of Native Populations in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Krause, Annabelle, 2011. "Work to Live or Live to Work? Unemployment, Happiness, and Culture," IZA Discussion Papers 6101, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Artjoms Ivlevs, 2014. "Happy moves? Assessing the impact of subjective well-being on the emigration decision," Working Papers 20141402, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  4. Connelly, Rachel & Iannotti, Michael & Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Zhang, Dandan, 2014. "Coresidency, Ethnicity, and Happiness of China's Rural Elders," IZA Discussion Papers 8194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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