IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Cross-Country Determinants of Life Satisfaction: Exploring Different Determinants across Groups in Society

  • Christian Bjørnskov

    ()

  • Axel Dreher

    ()

  • Justina A.V. Fischer

    ()

This paper explores a wide range of determinants of life satisfaction exploiting a database of 73 countries, based in turn on about 100 000 observations. The determinants can be categorized in four groups: political, economic, institutional factors and human development and culture. The relevance of these factors is estimated on country-level averages of satisfaction of sub-groups of national populations according to gender, income and political orientation, using OLS, robust regression and Extreme Bounds Analysis techniques. Our results show that only a small number of factors robustly influence life satisfaction across countries while the importance of a large number of alternative factors suggested in the previous literature is rejected.

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: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2005/DP-19_Ju.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 with number 2005-19.

as
in new window

Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2005:2005-19
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Dufourstrasse 50, CH - 9000 St.Gallen

Phone: +41 71 224 23 25
Fax: +41 71 224 31 35
Web page: http://www.seps.unisg.ch/
Email:


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. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, Junio.
  2. Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Berger, Helge & de Haan, Jakob, 2004. "Which variables explain decisions on IMF credit? An extreme bounds analysis," Discussion Papers 2004/15, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  3. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, 2004. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 696-719, 06.
  4. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 1999. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 9903003, EconWPA, revised 06 Oct 2001.
  5. Bernd Hayo, 2004. "Happiness in Eastern Europe," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200412, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  6. Axel Dreher & Noel Gaston, 2006. "Has globalization increased inequality?," KOF Working papers 06-140, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  7. Peggy Schyns, 1998. "Crossnational Differences in Happiness: Economic and Cultural Factors Explored," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 3-26, February.
  8. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(1), pages 119-173, January.
  9. Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," NBER Working Papers 8198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  12. Ruut Veenhoven, 2000. "The Four Qualities of Life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-39, March.
  13. Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I Just Ran Four Million Regressions," NBER Working Papers 6252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  16. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2007. "On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter?," KOF Working papers 07-161, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  17. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  19. Axel Dreher, 2003. "The Influence of globalization on taxes and social policy - an empirical enalysis for OECD countries," Discussion Papers 0301, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  20. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/229724, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    • Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    • Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," NBER Working Papers 9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Richard Feinberg, 2006. "Presidential mandates and ministerial institutions: Summitry of the Americas, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 69-94, March.
  22. Volkerink, Bjorn & De Haan, Jakob, 2001. "Fragmented Government Effects on Fiscal Policy: New Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 221-42, December.
  23. Edward E. Leamer, 1982. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," UCLA Economics Working Papers 239, UCLA Department of Economics.
  24. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  25. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Polarization, politics, and property rights : links between inequality and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2418, The World Bank.
  26. Temple, Jonathan, 2000. "Growth Regressions and What the Textbooks Don't Tell You," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 181-205, July.
  27. Christian Bjornskov, 2003. "The Happy Few: Cross--Country Evidence on Social Capital and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 3-16, February.
  28. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  29. Thomas König, 2001. "Bicameralism and Party Politics in Germany: an Empirical Social Choice Analysis," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 49(3), pages 411-437, 08.
  30. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
  31. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1997. "A Case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1848-58, November.
  33. Craig Fox & Daniel Kahneman, 1992. "Correlations, causes and heuristics in surveys of life satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 221-234, November.
  34. Ovaska, Tomi & Takashima, Ryo, 2006. "Economic policy and the level of self-perceived well-being: An international comparison," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 308-325, April.
  35. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  36. Carol Graham & Stefano Pettinato, 2001. "Happiness, Markets, and Democracy: Latin America in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 237-268, September.
  37. Tsebelis, George, 1995. "Decision Making in Political Systems: Veto Players in Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, Multicameralism and Multipartyism," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(03), pages 289-325, July.
  38. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 1997. "Political and economic determinants of OECD budget deficits and government expenditures: A reinvestigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 739-750, December.
  39. Lamla, Michael J., 2009. "Long-run determinants of pollution: A robustness analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 135-144, November.
  40. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
  41. Andrew Clark & Orsolya Lelkes, 2006. "Deliver us from Evil: Religion as insurance," Papers on Economics of Religion 06/03, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  42. Bergh, Andreas, 2006. "Explaining Welfare State Survival: The Role of Economic Freedom and Globalization," Ratio Working Papers 101, The Ratio Institute.
  43. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  44. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  45. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2005. "The bigger the better? Evidence of the effect of government size on life satisfaction around the world," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 05/44, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  46. Gordon Tullock, 1981. "Why so much stability," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 189-204, January.
  47. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  48. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  49. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  50. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  51. repec:pse:psecon:2005-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  52. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1980. "Intra-industry trade under perfect monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 151-175, May.
  53. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  55. Jan- Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2005. "Determinants of long-term growth: New results applying robust estimation and extreme bounds analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 597-617, October.
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:usg:dp2005:2005-19. 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: (Joerg Baumberger)

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.