Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration

54 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2014  

Eugenio Proto

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords: well-being, international, happiness, genes, GDP

JEL Classification: I30, I31

Suggested Citation

Proto, Eugenio and Oswald, Andrew J., National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8300. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2465335

Eugenio Proto (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paper statistics

Downloads
144
Rank
127,642
Abstract Views
972