IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp1716.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Buys Happiness? Analyzing Trends in Subjective Well-Being in 15 European Countries, 1973-2002

Author

Listed:
  • Bjørnskov, Christian

    (Aarhus School of Business)

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita

    (Aarhus University)

  • Pedersen, Peder J.

    (Aarhus University)

Abstract

Trends in life satisfaction are examined across 15 European countries employing a modified version of Kendall's Tau. Analyses show that GDP growth relative to growth in the preceding period is a significant determinant of the trends; the same holds for the growth in life expectancy while the contemporaneous growth in the current account balance exerts a positive influence. Relative unemployment growth becomes significant when interacted with a measure of the long-run political ideology of the median voter. The effects of relative GDP growth vary with the political ideology variable.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjørnskov, Christian & Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Pedersen, Peder J., 2005. "What Buys Happiness? Analyzing Trends in Subjective Well-Being in 15 European Countries, 1973-2002," IZA Discussion Papers 1716, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1716
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1716.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
    2. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
    3. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, June.
    4. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(1), pages 119-173, January.
    5. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, 2004. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 696-719, June.
    6. Saunders, Edward M, Jr, 1993. "Stock Prices and Wall Street Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1337-1345, December.
    7. Randolph Mullis, 1992. "Measures of economic well-being as predictors of psychological well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 119-135, March.
    8. Headey, Bruce & Muffels, Ruud & Wooden, Mark, 2004. "Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness… Or Does It? A Reconsideration Based on the Combined Effects of Wealth, Income and Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 1218, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Frank, Robert H, 1989. "Frames of Reference and the Quality of Life," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 80-85, May.
    10. Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
    11. Inglehart Ronald & Basañez Miguel & Díez-Madrano Jaime & Halman Loek & Luijkx Ruud, 2004. "Human Beliefs and Values," Books, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation, edition 0, number 201143, December.
    12. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
    13. World Bank, 2004. "World Development Indicators 2004," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13890, December.
    14. Charles Kenny, 1999. "Does Growth Cause Happiness, or Does Happiness Cause Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 3-25, February.
    15. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pedersen, Peder J. & Schmidt, Torben Dall, 2011. "Happiness in Europe," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 480-489.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christian Bjørnskov & Nabanita Gupta & Peder Pedersen, 2008. "Analysing trends in subjective well-being in 15 European countries, 1973–2002," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 317-330, June.
    2. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(1), pages 119-173, January.
    3. Torshizian, Eilya & Mehrara, Mohsen, 2011. "The effects of Economy, Values and Health on Happiness In Iran: the case of the Kish Island," MPRA Paper 30085, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Apr 2011.
    4. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2007. "The bigger the better? Evidence of the effect of government size on life satisfaction around the world," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 267-292, March.
    5. Paul Frijters & Harry Greenwell & John P. Haisken‐DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2009. "How well do individuals predict their future life satisfaction? Evidence from panel data following a nationwide exogenous shock," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(4), pages 1326-1346, November.
    6. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Putting a price tag on friends, relatives, and neighbours: Using surveys of life satisfaction to value social relationships," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1459-1480, August.
    7. Drakopoulos, Stavros, 2011. "Hierarchical Needs, Income Comparisons and Happiness Levels," MPRA Paper 48343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Stavros Drakopoulos, 2008. "The paradox of happiness: towards an alternative explanation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 303-315, June.
    9. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
    10. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2008. "Gross national happiness as an answer to the Easterlin Paradox?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 22-42, April.
    11. Devrim Dumludag, 2013. "Life Satisfaction and Income Comparison Effects in Turkey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 1199-1210, December.
    12. Cordero, José Manuel & Salinas-Jiménez, Javier & Salinas-Jiménez, M Mar, 2017. "Exploring factors affecting the level of happiness across countries: A conditional robust nonparametric frontier analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 256(2), pages 663-672.
    13. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
    14. Qianping Ren & Maoliang Ye, 2017. "Donations Make People Happier: Evidence from the Wenchuan Earthquake," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 517-536, May.
    15. Clark, Andrew E., 2007. "Born To Be Mild? Cohort Effects Don’t (Fully) Explain Why Well-Being Is U-Shaped in Age," IZA Discussion Papers 3170, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Proto, Eugenio & Rustichini, Aldo, 2012. "Life Satisfaction, Household Income and Personality Traits," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 988, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    17. Bhuiyan, Muhammad Faress & Ivlevs, Artjoms, 2019. "Micro-entrepreneurship and subjective well-being: Evidence from rural Bangladesh," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 625-645.
    18. Muhammad Faress Bhuiyan, 2018. "Life Satisfaction and Economic Position Relative to Neighbors: Perceptions Versus Reality," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(7), pages 1935-1964, October.
    19. Drakopoulos, Stavros A., 2008. "The Concept Of Comparison Income: An Historical Perspective," MPRA Paper 8713, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective well-being; economic factors;

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1716. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.