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A note on interdependent happiness

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  • Bolle, Friedel
  • Okhrin, Yarema
  • Vogel, Claudia

Abstract

Based on two models of interdependent utilities [Becker, G., 1974. A theory of social interaction, Journal of Political Economy 82, 1064-1093; Fehr, E., Schmidt, K., 1999. A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation, Quarterly Journal of Economics 114, 817-868] we derive a functional relationship between average happiness and the standard deviation of happiness within a country. This hypothesis is supported by an empirical investigation of 71 countries which shows that the average happiness in these countries depends only on income and on the standard deviation of happiness [sigma]. The latter may be partly based on influences beyond income, for which no data are available. Income has the expected positive influence and [sigma] has the expected negative influence, i.e. large differences in "autonomous" happiness have a dampening influence on "effective" happiness which also takes into account the happiness of others.

Suggested Citation

  • Bolle, Friedel & Okhrin, Yarema & Vogel, Claudia, 2009. "A note on interdependent happiness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 713-721, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:713-721
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wim Naudé & José Ernesto Amorós & Oscar Cristi, 2011. "‘Surfeiting, The Appetite May Sicken’: Entrepreneurship and the Happiness of Nations," Working Papers 2011/07, Maastricht School of Management.
    2. Mohanty, Madhu S. & Ullah, Aman, 2012. "Direct and indirect effects of happiness on wage: A simultaneous equations approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 143-152.
    3. Leonard Goff & John F. Helliwell & Guy Mayraz, 2016. "The Welfare Costs of Well-being Inequality," NBER Working Papers 21900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Nguyen Trung & Kimoon Cheong & Pham Nghi & Won Kim, 2013. "Relationship Between Socio-Economic Values and Wellbeing: An Overview Research in Asia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 453-472, April.
    5. Roma Debnath & Ravi Shankar, 2014. "Does Good Governance Enhance Happiness: A Cross Nation Study," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 235-253, March.
    6. Wim Naudé & José Amorós & Oscar Cristi, 2014. "“Surfeiting, the appetite may sicken”: entrepreneurship and happiness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 523-540, March.

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    Keywords

    Happiness Interdependent utility;

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