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Happiness and financial satisfaction in Israel: Effects of religiosity, ethnicity, and war

  • Van Praag, Bernard M.S.
  • Romanov, Dmitri
  • Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada

We analyze individual satisfaction with life as a whole and satisfaction with the personal financial situation for Israeli citizens of Jewish and Arab descent. Our data set is the Israeli Social Survey (2006). We are especially interested in the impact of the religions Judaism, Islam and Christianity, where we are able to differentiate between individuals who vary in religiosity between secular and ultra-orthodox. We find a significant effect of religiosity on happiness. With respect to Jewish families it is most striking that the impact of family size on both life and financial satisfaction seems to vary with religiosity. This might be a reason for differentiation in family equivalence scales. For Arab families we did not find this effect. First-generation immigrants are less happy than second-generation immigrants, while there is no significant difference between second-generation families and native families. The effect of the Lebanon war is much less than expected.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1008-1020

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:6:p:1008-1020
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  1. Liesbeth Snoep, 2008. "Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 207-211, June.
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  3. Adam Cohen, 2002. "The Importance of Spirituality in Well-Being for Jews and Christians," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 287-310, September.
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  16. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
  17. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, 03.
  18. Andrew E. Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2009. "Let us pray: religious interactions in life satisfaction," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566120, HAL.
  19. Dehejia, Rajeev & DeLeire, Thomas & Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2005. "Insuring Consumption and Happiness through Religious Organizations," Working Paper Series rwp05-047, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  20. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  21. Bruce Headey & Jürgen Schupp & Ingrid Tucci & Gert G. Wagner, 2008. "Authentic Happiness Theory Supported by Impact of Religion on Life Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Analysis with Data for Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 151, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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