National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration
University of Warwick - Department of Economics
Andrew J. Oswald
University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
IZA Discussion Paper No. 8300
This paper examines a famous puzzle in social science. Why do some nations report such high happiness? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich nations' well-being; Great Britain and the US enter further down; France and Italy do relatively poorly. Yet the explanation for this ranking – one that holds even after adjustment for GDP and socio-economic and cultural variables – remains unknown. We explore a new avenue. Using data on 131 countries, we document a range of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that certain nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 54
Keywords: well-being, international, happiness, genes, GDP
JEL Classification: I30, I31working papers series
Date posted: July 12, 2014
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