54 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2014
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: 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