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Are Happy People Ethical People? Evidence from North America and Europe

University of Missouri Agricultural Economics Working Paper No. AEWP 2004-8

29 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2004  

Harvey S. James Jr.

University of Missouri

Athanasios Chymis

University of Missouri at Columbia

Date Written: July 2004

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Happiness, subjective well-being, ethics

JEL Classification: D63, D99, Z13

Suggested Citation

James, Harvey S. and Chymis, Athanasios, Are Happy People Ethical People? Evidence from North America and Europe (July 2004). University of Missouri Agricultural Economics Working Paper No. AEWP 2004-8. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=570181 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.570181

Harvey S. James Jr. (Contact Author)

University of Missouri ( email )

146 Mumford Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-884-9682 (Phone)
573-882-3958 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://hsjames2.wordpress.com/

Athanasios Chymis

University of Missouri at Columbia ( email )

Columbia, MO Columbia 65211
United States

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