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Happiness in Europe

  • Pedersen, Peder J.
  • Schmidt, Torben Dall

Data in the European Community Household Panel are used to analyse the impact on self-reported satisfaction from a number of economic and demographic variables. The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion of the relationship between life satisfaction and income utilizing also the panel property of the data. We find an impact from the level of income only for a group of Southern European countries. For the same group of countries the difference between individual and average change in income has a significant impact on satisfaction. For all countries in the panel we find a significant impact from the change in the individual income situation over the last year. We find a strong impact from changes in labour force status and a strong negative impact on satisfaction from being unemployed and a somewhat weaker impact from being outside the labour force. Further, the level of and change in self-reported health has a strong impact on satisfaction.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 480-489

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:5:p:480-489
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  2. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 826, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Yannis Georgellis & Nicholas Tsitsianis & Ya Ping Yin, 2007. "Income and Happiness across Europe: Do Reference Values Matter?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2146, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  7. Namkee Ahn & Juan Ramón García & Juan F. Jimeno, . "Well-being Consequences of Unemployment in Europe," Working Papers 2004-11, FEDEA.
  8. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  9. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  11. Richard Ball & Kateryna Chernova, 2008. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, and Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 497-529, September.
  12. Scoppa Vincenzo & Ponzo Michela, 2008. "An Empirical Study of Happiness in Italy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-23, June.
  13. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  14. Bruce Headey & Ruud Muffels & Mark Wooden, 2008. "Money Does not Buy Happiness: Or Does It? A Reassessment Based on the Combined Effects of Wealth, Income and Consumption," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 65-82, May.
  15. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  16. Mentzakis, Emmanouil & Moro, Mirko, 2009. "The poor, the rich and the happy: Exploring the link between income and subjective well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 147-158, January.
  17. Christian Bjørnskov & Nabanita Gupta & Peder Pedersen, 2008. "Analysing trends in subjective well-being in 15 European countries, 1973–2002," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 317-330, June.
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