National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration

This paper studies a famous unsolved puzzle in quantitative social science. Why do some nations report such high levels of mental well-being? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich countries’ happiness; Britain and the US enter further down; some nations do unexpectedly poorly. The explanation for the longobserved ranking -- one that holds after adjustment for GDP and other socioeconomic variables -- is currently unknown. Using data on 131 countries, the paper cautiously explores a new approach. It documents three forms of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that some nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.


Issue Date:
Mar 03 2016
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/269325
Language:
English
Total Pages:
64
JEL Codes:
I30; I31
Series Statement:
WERP 1121




 Record created 2018-03-07, last modified 2020-10-28

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