The French Unhappiness Puzzle: The Cultural Dimension of Happiness

61 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2011

See all articles by Claudia Senik

Claudia Senik

National Center for Scientific Research - Department and Laboratory of Applied and Theoretical Economics (DELTA); Universite Paris IV Sorbonne; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This article sheds light on the important differences in self-declared happiness across countries of equivalent affluence. It hinges on the different happiness statements of natives and immigrants in a set of European countries to disentangle the influence of objective circumstances versus psychological and cultural factors. The latter turns out to be of non-negligible importance in explaining international heterogeneity in happiness. In some countries, such as France, they are responsible for 80% of the country's unobserved idiosyncratic source of (un)happiness.

Keywords: happiness, subjective well-being, international comparisons, France, immigration, European Social Survey

JEL Classification: I31, H52, O15, O52, Z10

Suggested Citation

Senik, Claudia, The French Unhappiness Puzzle: The Cultural Dimension of Happiness. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6175, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1970770

Claudia Senik (Contact Author)

National Center for Scientific Research - Department and Laboratory of Applied and Theoretical Economics (DELTA) ( email )

ENS, 48, bd Jourdan
75014 Paris
France
+33 1 4313 6312 (Phone)

Universite Paris IV Sorbonne

Department of Economics
75230 Paris Cedex 05
France
01 43 13 63 12 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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