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The French Unhappiness Puzzle: The Cultural Dimension of Happiness

  • Senik, Claudia

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

This article sheds light on the important differences in self-declared happiness across countries of equivalent affluence. It hinges on the different happiness statements of natives and immigrants in a set of European countries to disentangle the influence of objective circumstances versus psychological and cultural factors. The latter turns out to be of non-negligible importance in explaining international heterogeneity in happiness. In some countries, such as France, they are responsible for 80% of the country's unobserved idiosyncratic source of (un-)happiness.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6175.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6175
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  1. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
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  8. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  9. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
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  11. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Arie Kapteyn & Arthur Van Soest & James P Smith, 2008. "Validating the Use of Vignettes for Subjective Threshold Scales," Working Papers 200808, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
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  15. repec:pse:psecon:2010-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Karin Amit, 2010. "Determinants of Life Satisfaction Among Immigrants from Western Countries and from the FSU in Israel," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 515-534, May.
  17. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Will GDP growth increase happiness in developing countries?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564985, HAL.
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