Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1499652
 
 

References (49)



 
 

Citations (6)



 


 



Happiness, Freedom and Control


Paolo Verme


World Bank - Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (PRMVP); University of Turin - Department of Economics

July 3, 2009

Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Econpubblica Centre for Research on the Public Sector, Working Paper No. 141

Abstract:     
Does freedom of choice have an intrinsic value for people and how do people value freedom of choice? Drawing on economics and social psychology the paper provides a theory and empirical evidence of how individuals may value freedom of choice and derive utility from it. It is argued that the degree of control that we think we have over choice regulates how we value freedom of choice and that each individual faces a freedom "threshold" beyond which more freedom turns into disustility. We find strong evidence in support of this hypothesis. Making use of a combination of all rounds of the World and European Values Surveys we find a variable that measures freedom and control to be the best predictor of life satisfaction worldwide. This variable predicts life satisfaction better than any other known factors such as employment, income or marriage in every country ad across countries. A test that this variable is not a proxy of life satisfaction and that measures well both freedom and control. The implications of this finding for economics range from utility and choice theory to public policies.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: Happiness, Freedom, Control, Personality

JEL Classification: I31, Z1

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 4, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Verme, Paolo, Happiness, Freedom and Control (July 3, 2009). Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Econpubblica Centre for Research on the Public Sector, Working Paper No. 141. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1499652 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1499652

Contact Information

Paolo Verme (Contact Author)
World Bank - Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (PRMVP) ( email )
Washington, DC 20433
United States
University of Turin - Department of Economics ( email )
Via Po, 53
Torino, 10124
Italy
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,073
Downloads: 180
Download Rank: 77,379
References:  49
Citations:  6

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.328 seconds