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Europe’s capital cities and the happiness penalty: an investigation using the European Social Survey

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  • Piper, Alan T.

Abstract

This study investigates in three steps whether there is an association between happiness and living in one of Europe’s capital cities. Making use of the European Social Survey, the first step is a raw unadjusted correlation assessment which finds a negative and statistically significant effect on happiness of living in one of Europe’s capitals. The second step is the addition of socio-economic controls which (overall) increases the happiness penalty associated with living in a European capital city. This picture, like that of the initial finding, is different in different capitals; however no capital is associated with higher levels of happiness than elsewhere in that country. The third step adds environmental factors and perceptions (safety of local area, worries about crime, for example) to control for potential confounding factors. Tentative evidence is also presented that this is not just a big city effect. Overall, there is a happiness penalty associated with living in Europe’s capitals though this result is dominated by a few particularly unhappy capitals.

Suggested Citation

  • Piper, Alan T., 2013. "Europe’s capital cities and the happiness penalty: an investigation using the European Social Survey," MPRA Paper 47793, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47793
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    Cited by:

    1. Mikko Weckroth & Teemu Kemppainen & Jens F.L. Sørensen, 2015. "Predicting GDP of 289 NUTS Regions in Europe with ?Subjective? Indicators for Human and Social Capital," ERSA conference papers ersa15p22, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Alan Piper, 2014. "Zukunftsangst! Fear of (and Hope for) the Future and Its Impact on Life Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 706, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Life Satisfaction; Geography; European Social Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • R19 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Other
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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