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The Scots May Be Brave But They Are Neither Healthy Nor Happy

Author

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  • Bell, David N.F.

    () (University of Stirling)

  • Blanchflower, David G.

    () (Dartmouth College)

Abstract

On almost all measures of physical health, Scots fare worse than residents of any other region of the UK and often worse than the rest of Europe. Deaths from chronic liver disease and lung cancer are particularly prevalent in Scotland. The self-assessed wellbeing of Scots is lower than that of the English or Welsh, even after taking into account any differences in characteristics. Scots also suffer from higher levels of self-assessed depression or phobia, accidental death and suicide than those in other parts of Great Britain. This result is particularly driven by outcomes in Strathclyde and is consistent with the high scores for other measures of social deprivation in this area. On average, indicators of social capital in Scotland are no worse than in England or Wales. Detailed analysis within Scotland, however, shows that social capital indicators for the Strathclyde area are relatively low. We argue that these problems need to be directly targeted as they seem unlikely to be fixed by more indirect policies aimed at raising economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2005. "The Scots May Be Brave But They Are Neither Healthy Nor Happy," IZA Discussion Papers 1909, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1909
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "Happiness and the Human Development Index: The Paradox of Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(3), pages 307-318, September.
    3. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    4. 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.
    5. David G. Blanchflower, 2004. "Self-Employment: More may not be better," NBER Working Papers 10286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Karen E. Norberg, 2001. "Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 219-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jonathan Gardner & Andrew J. Oswald, 2006. "Do divorcing couples become happier by breaking up?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(2), pages 319-336.
    8. Blanchflower, David G., 2001. "Unemployment, Well-Being, and Wage Curves in Eastern and Central Europe," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 364-402, December.
    9. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2006. "On Leigh-Wolfers and Well-Being in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 39(2), pages 185-186, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Knies, Gundi & Nandi, Alita & Platt, Lucinda, 2014. "Life satisfaction, ethnicity and neighbourhoods: is there an effect of neighbourhood ethnic composition on life satisfaction?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    3. Caleiro, António, 2011. "Desemprego e felicidade em Portugal
      [Unemployment and happiness in Portugal]
      ," MPRA Paper 34997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542.
    5. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Hypertension and happiness across nations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 218-233, March.
    6. Blanchflower, David G., 2006. "A Cross-Country Study of Union Membership," IZA Discussion Papers 2016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Moro, Mirko & Brereton, Finbarr & Ferreira, Susana & Clinch, J. Peter, 2008. "Ranking quality of life using subjective well-being data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 448-460, April.
    8. Blanchflower, David G; Oswald, Andrew, 2011. "International Happiness," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 39, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    9. Ehsan Latif, 2016. "Happiness and Comparison Income: Evidence from Canada," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 161-177, August.
    10. Finbarr Brereton & J. Peter Clinch & Susana Ferreira, 2008. "Employment and Life-Satisfaction: Insights from Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 39(3), pages 207-234.
    11. Bobinac, Ana & van Exel, N. Job A. & Rutten, Frans F.H. & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2010. "Caring for and caring about: Disentangling the caregiver effect and the family effect," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 549-556, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wellbeing; happiness; suicide; depression;

    JEL classification:

    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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