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Happiness and Financial Satisfaction in Israel. Effects of Religiosity, Ethnicity, and War


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


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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  • Bernard M.S. Van Praag & Dmitri Romanov & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2010. "Happiness and Financial Satisfaction in Israel. Effects of Religiosity, Ethnicity, and War," CESifo Working Paper Series 3181, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3181

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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Pereira & Filipe Coelho, 2013. "Untangling the Relationship Between Income and Subjective Well-Being: The Role of Perceived Income Adequacy and Borrowing Constraints," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 985-1005, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Ognjen Obućina, 2013. "The Patterns of Satisfaction Among Immigrants in Germany," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 1105-1127, September.
    4. Hanna Dudek & Joanna Landmesser, 2012. "Income satisfaction and relative deprivation," Statistics in Transition new series, Główny Urząd Statystyczny (Polska), vol. 13(2), pages 321-334, June.
    5. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9799-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Coupe, Tom & Obrizan, Maksym, 2016. "The impact of war on happiness: The case of Ukraine," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 228-242.
    7. Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2017. "The Lasting Legacy of Traumatic Events on Life Satisfaction," Working Papers 13/2017, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    8. Brown, Sarah & Durand, Robert B. & Harris, Mark N. & Weterings, Tim, 2014. "Modelling financial satisfaction across life stages: A latent class approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 117-127.
    9. Attar-Schwartz, Shalhevet & Ben-Arieh, Asher, 2012. "Political knowledge, attitudes and values among Palestinian and Jewish youth in Israel: The role of nationality, gender and religiosity," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 704-712.
    10. Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman, 2014. "Subjective Health Status of the Older Population: Is It Related to Country-Specific Economic Development Measures?," Working Papers 2014-02, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    11. William Betz & Nicole Simpson, 2013. "The effects of international migration on the well-being of native populations in Europe," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, December.
    12. Luciana Méndez, 2017. "So dissatisfied to leave? The role of perceptions, expectations and beliefs on youths’ intention to migrate," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 17-12, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    13. Matteo Migheli, 2016. "Behind the Wall: What Remains of the “Communist Legacy” in Contemporary Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 671-690, June.
    14. Fabio Zagonari, 2016. "Which Attitudes Will Make us Individually and Socially Happier and Healthier? A Cross-Culture and Cross-Development Analytical Model," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2527-2554, December.
    15. Maria Pereira & Filipe Coelho, 2013. "Work Hours and Well Being: An Investigation of Moderator Effects," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 235-253, March.
    16. Duval, Laetitia & Wolff, François-Charles, 2015. "Ethnicity and remittances: Evidence from Kosovo," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 334-349.
    17. Jeff Levin, 2014. "Religion and Happiness Among Israeli Jews: Findings from the ISSP Religion III Survey," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 593-611, June.

    More about this item


    happiness; subjective well-being; financial satisfaction; Israel; religion; immigration; terrorism;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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