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National Identity, National Pride, and Happiness: The Case of South Korea


  • Shang Ha


  • Seung-Jin Jang



This paper investigates the relationships among national identity, national pride, and happiness, using a nationally representative survey dataset from South Korea. Two dimensions of national identity—civic and ethnic—are considered, after factor-analyzing eight survey items. The results demonstrate that national pride is positively associated with happiness, but empirical evidence is scarce regarding the relationship between national identity and happiness. Also, we have not found alleged moderating effects of national identity on the relationship between national pride and happiness. Lack of statistically significant effects of national identity is not consistent with the pre-existing findings from cross-national surveys. Given that national identity is deeply rooted in a historically unique context of each nation, this study calls for a more nuanced conceptualization of national identity and culture-specific measures to fully grasp its association with happiness. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Shang Ha & Seung-Jin Jang, 2015. "National Identity, National Pride, and Happiness: The Case of South Korea," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 471-482, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:121:y:2015:i:2:p:471-482
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-014-0641-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simona Rasciute & Paul Downward, 2010. "Health or Happiness? What Is the Impact of Physical Activity on the Individual?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 256-270, May.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    3. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    4. Dora Gudmundsdottir, 2013. "The Impact of Economic Crisis on Happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 1083-1101, February.
    5. Georgios Kavetsos, 2012. "National Pride: War Minus the Shooting," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 106(1), pages 173-185, March.
    6. Davidov, Eldad, 2009. "Measurement Equivalence of Nationalism and Constructive Patriotism in the ISSP: 34 Countries in a Comparative Perspective," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 64-82, January.
    7. Danny Cohen-Zada & William Sander, 2011. "Religious Participation versus Shopping: What Makes People Happier?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 889-906.
    8. Rossalina Latcheva, 2011. "Cognitive interviewing and factor-analytic techniques: a mixed method approach to validity of survey items measuring national identity," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(6), pages 1175-1199, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Lim, Chaeyoon & Putnam, Robert David, 2010. "Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction," Scholarly Articles 11105537, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Skyscrapers and Happiness: An International Comparison (Part I)
      by Jason Barr in Skynomics Blog on 2017-12-11 00:22:05


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Morrison, Philip S, 2016. "Pride and the city," REGION, European Regional Science Association, vol. 3, pages 103-124.
    2. Prayag, Girish & Mills, Hamish & Lee, Craig & Soscia, Isabella, 2020. "Team identification, discrete emotions, satisfaction, and event attachment: A social identity perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 373-384.
    3. Kasamara Valeria & Maximenkova Marina & Sorokina Anna, 2019. "National Pride In The Collective Memory Of British And Russian Youth," HSE Working papers WP BRP 71/PS/2019, National Research University Higher School of Economics.


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