IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The relationship between happiness and health: evidence from Italy

  • Sabatini, Fabio

We test the relationship between happiness and self-rated health in Italy. The analysis relies on a unique dataset collected through the administration of a questionnaire to a representative sample (n = 817) of the population of the Italian Province of Trento in March 2011. Based on probit regressions, instrumental variables estimates and structural equations modelling, we find that happiness is strongly correlated with perceived good health, after controlling for a number of relevant socio-economic phenomena. Health inequalities based on income, work status and education are relatively contained in respect to the rest of Italy. As expected, this scales down the role of social capital.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30948.

in new window

Date of creation: 17 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30948
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fabio Sabatini, 2009. "Il capitale sociale nelle regioni italiane: un’analisi comparata," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 99(2), pages 167-220, April-Jun.
  2. Mansyur, Carol & Amick, Benjamin C. & Harrist, Ronald B. & Franzini, Luisa, 2008. "Social capital, income inequality, and self-rated health in 45 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 43-56, January.
  3. Engström, Karin & Mattsson, Fredrik & Järleborg, Anders & Hallqvist, Johan, 2008. "Contextual social capital as a risk factor for poor self-rated health: A multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2268-2280, June.
  4. Fiorillo Damiano & Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in individual health," wp.comunite 0073, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  5. De Silva, Mary J. & Huttly, Sharon R. & Harpham, Trudy & Kenward, Michael G., 2007. "Social capital and mental health: A comparative analysis of four low income countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 5-20, January.
  6. Charness, Gary & Grosskopf, Brit, 2001. "Relative payoffs and happiness: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-328, July.
  7. Sonja Lyubomirsky & Chris Tkach & M. DiMatteo, 2006. "What are the Differences between Happiness and Self-Esteem," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 78(3), pages 363-404, 09.
  8. R. Veenhoven, 2008. "Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 449-469, September.
  9. Steven N. Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Social Capital," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
  10. Sabatini Fabio, 2007. "The empirics of social capital and economic development: A critical perspective," wp.comunite 0031, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  11. Felix Requena, 2010. "Welfare Systems, Support Networks and Subjective Well-Being Among Retired Persons," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 511-529, December.
  12. Vincenzo Atella & Francesco Brindisi & Partha Deb & Furio C. Rosati, 2004. "Determinants of access to physician services in Italy: a latent class seemingly unrelated probit approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 657-668.
  13. Degli Antoni, Giacomo, 2009. "Does satisfaction matter? A microeconomic empirical analysis of the effect of social relations on economic welfare," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 301-309, March.
  14. John F. Helliwell, 2002. "How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sabatini, Fabio, 2008. "Social Capital and the Labour Market," MPRA Paper 6582, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Lucas Ronconi & Timothy T. Brown & Richard M. Scheffler, 2012. "Social capital and self‐rated health in Argentina," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 201-208, 02.
  17. Kim, Daniel & Subramanian, S.V. & Gortmaker, Steven L. & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2006. "US state- and county-level social capital in relation to obesity and physical inactivity: A multilevel, multivariable analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 1045-1059, August.
  18. Baron-Epel, Orna & Weinstein, Ruth & Haviv-Mesika, Amalia & Garty-Sandalon, Noga & Green, Manfred S., 2008. "Individual-level analysis of social capital and health: A comparison of Arab and Jewish Israelis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 900-910, February.
  19. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  20. Timothy T. Brown & Richard M. Scheffler & Sukyong Seo & Mary Reed, 2006. "The empirical relationship between community social capital and the demand for cigarettes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(11), pages 1159-1172.
  21. Ambrose Leung & Cheryl Kier & Tak Fung & Linda Fung & Robert Sproule, 2011. "Searching for Happiness: The Importance of Social Capital," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 443-462, June.
  22. Fiorillo Damiano, 2008. "Le determinanti del capitale sociale in Italia," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 81-136.
  23. Phelps, Charles E., 2000. "Information diffusion and best practice adoption," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 223-264 Elsevier.
  24. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2008. "Healthy and happy in Europe? On the association between happiness and life expectancy over time," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1750-1759, April.
  25. Carlson, Per, 2004. "The European health divide: a matter of financial or social capital?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(9), pages 1985-1992, November.
  26. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement," Working Papers 83, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  27. Melikşah Demir & Lesley Weitekamp, 2007. "I am so Happy `cause Today I found my Friend: Friendship and Personality as Predictors of Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 213-213, June.
  28. Damiano Fiorillo, 2010. "Volunteer work and domain satisfactions: Evidence from Italy," Discussion Papers 6_2010, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  29. B. d'Hombres & L. Rocco & M. Suhrcke & M. McKee, 2010. "Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 56-74.
  30. Stavros Petrou & Emil Kupek, 2008. "Social capital and its relationship with measures of health status: evidence from the Health Survey for England 2003," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 127-143.
  31. Yasuharu Tokuda & Takashi Inoguchi, 2008. "Interpersonal Mistrust and Unhappiness Among Japanese People," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 349-360, November.
  32. Poortinga, Wouter, 2006. "Social relations or social capital? Individual and community health effects of bonding social capital," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 255-270, July.
  33. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2010. "An exploratory analysis of the relationship between social interactions, income and health in Italy," MPRA Paper 26728, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  34. Fabio Sabatini, 2008. "Social Capital and the Quality of Economic Development," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 466-499, 08.
  35. Fabio, Sabatini, 2005. "The empirics of social capital and economic development: a critical perspective," MPRA Paper 2366, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2007.
  36. Melchior, Maria & Berkman, Lisa F. & Niedhammer, Isabelle & Chea, Maline & Goldberg, Marcel, 2003. "Social relations and self-reported health: a prospective analysis of the French Gazel cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1817-1830, April.
  37. Simona Rasciute & Paul Downward, 2010. "Health or Happiness? What Is the Impact of Physical Activity on the Individual?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 256-270, 05.
  38. Melikşah Demir & Metin Özdemir & Lesley Weitekamp, 2007. "Looking to happy tomorrows with friends: Best and close friendships as they predict happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 243-271, June.
  39. Degli Antoni Giacomo, 2006. "Capitale sociale e crescita economica: una verifica empirica a livello regionale e provinciale," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 363-394.
  40. Kennelly, Brendan & O'Shea, Eamon & Garvey, Eoghan, 2003. "Social capital, life expectancy and mortality: a cross-national examination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2367-2377, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30948. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.