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Is happiness different from flourishing? Cross-country evidence from the ESS

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  • Andrew E. Clark

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA)

  • Claudia Senik

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne)

Abstract

This paper appeals to novel survey information on over 30 000 individuals in 21 European countries to address an important and controversial question with respect to well-being: Do cognitive, hedonic and eudaimonic measures of well-being reflect very different aspects of individual quality of life? Or, more precisely, do the subjective appreciation of these dimensions by individuals exhibit different patterns? Our empirical results first reveal a very significant correlation between the measures of happiness and life satisfaction. Second, someone with high "hedonic" well-being (happiness or life satisfaction) is likely to have high eudaimonic well-being as well (flourishing, vitality, resilience and functioning). In addition, the factors that are correlated with the different measures of well-being seem to be very similar at the individual level. For example, marriage, higher income and greater education are associated with greater satisfaction, but also with higher levels of flourishing, vitality, resilience and functioning. This fit is not perfect, however, and men notably report lower levels of hedonic well-being but higher eudaimonic well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2011. "Is happiness different from flourishing? Cross-country evidence from the ESS," Working Papers halshs-00561867, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00561867
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-00561867
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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