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Hypertension and happiness across nations

  • Blanchflower, David G.
  • Oswald, Andrew J.

In surveys of well-being, countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands emerge as particularly happy while nations like Germany and Italy report lower levels of happiness. But are these kinds of findings credible? This paper provides some evidence that the answer is yes. Using data on 16 countries, it shows that happier nations report systematically lower levels of hypertension. As well as potentially validating the differences in measured happiness across nations, this suggests that blood-pressure readings might be valuable as part of a national well-being index. A new ranking of European nations' GHQ-N6 mental health scores is also given.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 218-233

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:218-233
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  8. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  19. Carol Graham, 2005. "Insights on Development from the Economics of Happiness," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 201-231.
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  22. Kenny, Charles, 1999. "Does Growth Cause Happiness, or Does Happiness Cause Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 3-25.
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