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Does the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause People to Be Unhappy? Evidence from a Six-Country Survey


  • Nguyen, Cuong Viet


Does the COVID-19 pandemic cause people unhappy? In this study, we use a recent survey from China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States to explore this question. We find a relatively large effect: a one per-mille point increase in the incidence of the COVID-19 cases increases the probability of unhappiness by 0.002. Possibly channels through which the COVID-19 pandemic causes unhappiness are negative effects on economic outcomes and social interactions of people. We also find that more disadvantaged people including poor, rural, female and older people are more likely to be affected by the pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Nguyen, Cuong Viet, 2021. "Does the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause People to Be Unhappy? Evidence from a Six-Country Survey," GLO Discussion Paper Series 768, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:768

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    Cited by:

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Carol L. Graham, 2022. "The Mid-Life Dip in Well-Being: a Critique," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 287-344, May.

    More about this item


    COVID-19; happiness; life satisfaction; income loss; job loss;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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