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Happiness, Meaning of Life and Income


Author Info

  • Lois Duff

    (University of the West of England)

  • Artjoms Ivlevs

    (University of the West of England)

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    The paper explores the non-material determinants of happiness. We go beyond the well-established result that individual ‘religiousness’ is positively correlated with happiness and look at a broader spiritual activity - time spent thinking about the meaning and purpose of life (MPL). We study the determinants of this activity and its potential role in explaining happiness. Using World Values Survey 1994-2007 data for 85 countries in an ordered logit model, we find that the educated, the religious, females and the middle aged are more likely to spend time thinking about the MPL. The correlation between happiness and thinking about the MPL depends on a country’s income: it is negative in high income countries and positive in low income countries.

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    File Function: First version, 2011
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol in its series Working Papers with number 1108.

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    Length: 13 pages
    Date of creation: May 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:1108

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    Related research

    Keywords: Happiness; life satisfaction; meaning of life; religion.;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The meaning of life
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-06-20 13:39:02


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