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Clap along if you know what happiness is to you! Wealth, Trust and Subjective Well-being


  • Anne MUSSON

    (ESSCA Research Lab, Angers, France)


    (SMART-LERECO, AGROCAMPUS OUEST, INRA, Angers, France / CRISES, UQAM, Montreal, Canada)


Social capital and especially trust are the foundation of most personal relationships and it is considered a key factor of many economic and social outcomes since Banfield (1958), Coleman (1990) and Putnam (2000). The purpose of this study is twofold. First, we investigate the role of wealth of countries in explaining trust and another proxy of social capital, the voluntary association membership. Secondly, we analyze the link between wealth, social capital and subjective well-being. This paper answer the following questions: Does living in a richer country enhance the willingness of people to trust each other? Does living in a richer country (regarding total wealth, intangible and social capital) enhance the subjective well-being? Do trust and happiness equations differ across countries, following their wealth structures? Our original empirical approach address simultaneously these three questions, using a recursive mixed-process model, with bootstrapped standard errors accounting for the sampling design. We support the idea that social capital may turn wealth into subjective happiness and can build resilience in time of crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne MUSSON & Damien ROUSSELIÈRE, 2017. "Clap along if you know what happiness is to you! Wealth, Trust and Subjective Well-being," CIRIEC Working Papers 1702, CIRIEC - Université de Liège.
  • Handle: RePEc:crc:wpaper:1702

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    Cited by:

    1. Coisnon, Thomas & Rousselière, Damien & Rousselière, Samira, 2018. "Information on biodiversity and environmental behaviors: a European study of individual and institutional drivers to adopt sustainable gardening practices," Working Papers 272611, Institut National de la recherche Agronomique (INRA), Departement Sciences Sociales, Agriculture et Alimentation, Espace et Environnement (SAE2).

    More about this item


    Recursive Mixed-Process Model; Subjective Well-Being; Social Capital; Trust; Voluntary Association Membership; Wealth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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