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National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration

Listed author(s):
  • Proto, Eugenio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

This paper studies a famous unsolved puzzle in quantitative social science. Why do some nations report such high levels of mental well-being? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich countries’ happiness; Britain and the US enter further down; some nations do unexpectedly poorly. The explanation for the longobserved ranking -- one that holds after adjustment for GDP and other socioeconomic variables -- is currently unknown. Using data on 131 countries, the paper cautiously explores a new approach. It documents three forms of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that some nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2016/twerp_1121_proto.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 1121.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1121
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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  1. Daniel J. Benjamin & David Cesarini & Christopher F. Chabris & Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & Vilmundur Guðnason & Tamara B. Harris & Lenore J. Launer & Shaun Purcell & Albert Vernon Smith & M, 2012. "The Promises and Pitfalls of Genoeconomics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 627-662, 07.
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  25. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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