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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.

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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.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2005:2005-19
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