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The French Unhappiness Puzzle: the Cultural Dimension of Happiness

  • Senik, Claudia

This article sheds light on the important differences in self-declared happiness across countries of equivalent affluence. It hinges on the different happiness statements of natives and immigrants in a set of European countries to disentangle the influence of objective circumstances versus psychological and cultural factors. The latter turns out to be of non- negligible importance in explaining international heterogeneity in happiness. In some countries, such as France, they are mainly responsible for the country’s unobserved idiosyncratic source of (un-)happiness.

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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 1113.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1113
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  1. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," NBER Working Papers 14282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "Regulation and Distrust," Working Papers hal-00396268, HAL.
  4. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  5. Arthur van Soest & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith, 2007. "Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales," Working Papers 501, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  6. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Will GDP growth increase happiness in developing countries?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564985, HAL.
  7. Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2008. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  9. Felicia Huppert & Nic Marks & Andrew Clark & Johannes Siegrist & Alois Stutzer & Joar Vittersø & Morten Wahrendorf, 2009. "Measuring Well-being Across Europe: Description of the ESS Well-being Module and Preliminary Findings," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 301-315, May.
  10. Alberto F. Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:pse:psecon:2010-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Karin Amit, 2010. "Determinants of Life Satisfaction Among Immigrants from Western Countries and from the FSU in Israel," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 515-534, May.
  13. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  14. Clark, Andrew E. & Senik, Claudia, 2011. "Will GDP Growth Increase Happiness in Developing Countries?," IZA Discussion Papers 5595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. 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.
  16. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
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