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The Relationship between Happiness, Health and Socio-economic Factors: Results Based on Swedish Micro Data

  • Gerdtham, Ulf-G

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Johannesson, Magnus

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

This paper investigates the relationship between happiness (utility) and a host of socio-economic variables. The data set consists of a random sample of over 5,000 individuals from the Swedish adult population. Happiness is measured by a three-point categorical measure of overall happiness (not happy, happy sometimes, happy most of the time), and an ordered probit model is used to econometrically estimate the happiness equation. The results are consistent with the theoretical predictions and show that happiness increases with income and education and decreases with unemployment, urbanisation, being single, and male gender. The relationship between age and happiness is U-shaped, with happiness being lowest in the age-group 45-64.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 207.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 21 Nov 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0207
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  2. Van Praag, Bernard, 1971. "The welfare function of income in Belgium: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 337-369.
  3. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1975. "Transcendental Logarithmic Utility Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 367-83, June.
  4. Wagstaff, Adam, 1986. "The demand for health : Some new empirical evidence," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 195-233, September.
  5. Cameron, A Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1986. "Econometric Models Based on Count Data: Comparisons and Applications of Some Estimators and Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 29-53, January.
  6. van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1991. "Ordinal and cardinal utility : An integration of the two dimensions of the welfare concept," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 69-89, October.
  7. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  8. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
  9. Christian Dustmann, 1996. "The social assimilation of immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 37-54, February.
  10. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  11. Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J & Stoker, Thomas M, 1980. "Welfare Comparison under Exact Aggregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 268-72, May.
  12. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
  13. Tinbergen, Jan, 1991. "On the measurement of welfare," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 7-13, October.
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