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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.

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