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Why are Latin Europeans less happy? The impact of hierarchy


  • Brule, Gael
  • Veenhoven, Ruut


Happiness in the North European is substantially higher than in the South European nations. Only part of that difference can be explained by economic prosperity. This paper explores the effect of social hierarchy. A comparison of contemporary survey findings show that power distance is more pronounced in the South than in the North of Eurpe. Macro‐sociological theory is used to provide an historical account of this difference and it can be used to explain why happiness is ower in hierarchical societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Brule, Gael & Veenhoven, Ruut, 2012. "Why are Latin Europeans less happy? The impact of hierarchy," MPRA Paper 41925, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41925

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Justina A.V. Fischer & Christian Bjornskov & Axel Dreher, 2007. "On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter?," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-07, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    2. Verme, Paolo, 2009. "Happiness, freedom and control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 146-161, August.
    3. Ruut Veenhoven, 1999. "Quality-of-Life in Individualistic Society," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 159-188, October.
    4. Jan Ott, 2010. "Good Governance and Happiness in Nations: Technical Quality Precedes Democracy and Quality Beats Size," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 353-368, June.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Hierarchy and Life Satisfaction
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-11-03 19:36:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Senik, Claudia, 2014. "The French unhappiness puzzle: The cultural dimension of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 379-401.

    More about this item


    life satisfaction; power distance; cross cultural; macro sociology;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary

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