Are Happy People Ethical People? Evidence from North America and Europe
Harvey S. James Jr.
University of Missouri
University of Missouri at Columbia
University of Missouri Agricultural Economics Working Paper No. AEWP 2004-8
We examine empirically the relationship between happiness and the ethical decisions of individuals. We use data from the 1995-97 wave of the World Values Survey (WVS) to test the hypothesis that the relationship between happiness and ethics is bicausal in the sense that personal ethics affects one's happiness while happiness also affects ethical preferences and proclivities. We find that happiness increases in ethical proclivities and that greater happiness results in improved ethical judgments, after correcting for bicausality and controlling for income and other factors.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Happiness, subjective well-being, ethics
JEL Classification: D63, D99, Z13
Date posted: July 29, 2004