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Happiness in Europe: Cross-Country Differences in the Determinants of Subjective Well-Being

28 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009  

Peder J. Pedersen

Arhus University - Centre for Labour Market and Social Research (CLS); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Torben Dall Schmidt

University of Southern Denmark

Abstract

The purpose in the present paper is to use individual panel data in the European Community Household Panel to analyse the impact on self-reported satisfaction from a number of economic and demographic variables. The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion of the relationship between life satisfaction and income. The panel property of the data makes it possible to study also the impact on satisfaction from income changes as well as the impact from acceleration in income and changes in labour market status on changes in satisfaction. A number of demographic variables and individual attitude indicators are also entered into the analysis of both the level of satisfaction and the change in satisfaction from one wave of the survey to the next. We find a strong impact from the level of income in all countries, an impact from change and acceleration in income for a smaller number of countries, a strong impact from most changes in labour market status and finally important effects from a number of demographic variables.

Keywords: satisfaction, income, labour market status, health

JEL Classification: C23, D31, I31, J28

Suggested Citation

Pedersen, Peder J. and Schmidt, Torben Dall, Happiness in Europe: Cross-Country Differences in the Determinants of Subjective Well-Being. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4538. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501974

Peder J. Pedersen (Contact Author)

Arhus University - Centre for Labour Market and Social Research (CLS) ( email )

DK-8000 Aarhus
Denmark
+45 8942 1581 (Phone)
+45 8613 6334 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Torben Dall Schmidt

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

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