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Family Money, Relational Life and (Class) Relative Wealth: an Empirical Analysis on Life Satisfaction of Secondary School Students

We investigate factors affecting happiness on a sample of Italian secondary school students. We find that money matters since family’s house ownership, mortgages and (class) relative wealth significantly affect life satisfaction. Other crucial factors are geographical residence (those living in Milan are significantly less happy), mother’s occupation, trust on family and friendships. Even though we cannot rule out inverse causality and other forms of endogeneity, the characteristics of many of the significant regressors such as family wealth, parental job and geographical residence (not under the decisional power of the student) suggest a direct causality nexus for these factors.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 223.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 21 Feb 2012
Date of revision: 21 Feb 2012
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:223
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  1. Andrew E. Clark, 2008. "Happiness, habits and high rank: Comparisons in economic and social life," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586049, HAL.
  2. Luechinger, Simon & Raschky, Paul A., 2009. "Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 620-633, April.
  3. repec:dgr:uvatin:20040024 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2007. "Is It Culture or Democracy? The Impact of Democracy and Culture on Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(3), pages 505-526, July.
  5. Emilio Colombo & Alessandra Michelangeli & Luca Stanca, 2010. "La Dolce Vita: Hedonic Estimates of Quality of Life in Italian Cities," Working Papers 201, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2010.
  6. Alfred Michael Dockery, 2005. "The Happiness of Young Australians: Empirical Evidence on the Role of Labour Market Experience," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 322-335, December.
  7. van de Wetering, E.J. & van Exel, N.J.A. & Brouwer, W.B.F., 2010. "Piecing the jigsaw puzzle of adolescent happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 923-935, December.
  8. Becchetti Leonardo & Giachin Elena & Pelloni Alessandra, 2010. "The relationship between social leisure and life satisfaction," wp.comunite 0063, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  9. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
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