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The French Unhappiness Puzzle: The Cultural Dimension of Happiness

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  • Senik, Claudia

    () (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

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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  • Senik, Claudia, 2011. "The French Unhappiness Puzzle: The Cultural Dimension of Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 6175, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6175
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    Cited by:

    1. Bahadır Dursun & Resul Cesur, 2016. "Transforming lives: the impact of compulsory schooling on hope and happiness," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 911-956, July.
    2. Gábor Hajdu & Tamás Hajdu, 2016. "The Impact of Culture on Well-Being: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1089-1110, June.
    3. Nikolova, Milena & Graham, Carol, 2015. "In transit: The well-being of migrants from transition and post-transition countries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 164-186.
    4. Zsóka Kóczán, 2016. "(Why) are immigrants unhappy?," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, December.
    5. Zhang, Yinjunjie & Xu, Zhicheng Phil & Palma, Marco A., 2017. "Misclassification Errors of Subjective Well-being: A New Approach to Mapping Happiness," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258553, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Artjoms Ivlevs, 2014. "Happy moves? Assessing the impact of subjective well-being on the emigration decision," Working Papers 20141402, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    7. Laetitia Duval & François-Charles Wolff, 2016. "“I even met happy gypsies”," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 24(4), pages 727-764, October.
    8. Conzo, Pierluigi & Aassve, Arnstein & Fuochi, Giulia & Mencarini, Letizia, 2017. "The cultural foundations of happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 268-283.
    9. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9812-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Stranges, Manuela & Vignoli, Daniele & Venturini, Alessandra, 2019. "Comparison is the Thief of Joy. Does Social Comparison Affect Migrants’ Subjective Well-Being?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201918, University of Turin.
    11. William Betz & Nicole Simpson, 2013. "The effects of international migration on the well-being of native populations in Europe," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, December.
    12. Nicole B. Simpson, 2013. "Happiness and migration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 21, pages 393-408 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Manuela Stranges & Daniele Vignoli & Alessandra Venturini, 2019. "“Comparison is the thief of joy†. Does social comparison affect migrants’ subjective well-being?," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2019_03, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    14. Connelly, Rachel & Iannotti, Michael & Maurer-Fazio, Margaret & Zhang, Dandan, 2014. "Coresidency, Ethnicity, and Happiness of China's Rural Elders," IZA Discussion Papers 8194, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Martijn Hendriks & Martijn (M.J.) Burger, 2018. "Unsuccessful subjective well-being assimilation among immigrants: The role of faltering perceptions of the host society," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-080/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle, 2011. "Work to Live or Live to Work? Unemployment, Happiness, and Culture," IZA Discussion Papers 6101, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. repec:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9797-y is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Laetitia Duval & François-­charles Wolff, 2015. "" I Even Met Happy Gypsies " : Life Satisfaction of Roma Youth in the Balkans," Working Papers hal-01219250, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; France; international comparisons; subjective well-being; happiness; European Social Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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