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National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration

Author

Listed:
  • Proto, Eugenio

    (University of Warwick)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper studies a famous unsolved puzzle in quantitative social science. Why do some nations report such high levels of mental well-being? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich countries’ happiness; Britain and the US enter further down; some nations do unexpectedly poorly. The explanation for the longobserved ranking - one that holds after adjustment for GDP and other socioeconomic variables - is currently unknown. Using data on 131 countries, the paper cautiously explores a new approach. It documents three forms of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that some nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Proto, Eugenio & Oswald, Andrew J., 2016. "National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 273, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:273
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-07-22 18:22:07

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    Cited by:

    1. Conzo, Pierluigi & Aassve, Arnstein & Fuochi, Giulia & Mencarini, Letizia, 2017. "The cultural foundations of happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 268-283.
    2. Nikolova, Milena, 2016. "Minding the happiness gap: Political institutions and perceived quality of life in transition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 129-148.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Well-being; international; happiness; genes; 5HTT; countries JEL Classification: I30; I31;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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