London School of Economics EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme LSE
EOPP: Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme

Abstract for:

Cross-Country Determinants of Life Satisfaction: Exploring Different Determinants across Groups in Society

Christian Bjørnskov, Axel Dreher, Justina A.V.  Fischer, September 2006
Paper No' PEPP 21: | Full paper (pdf)
Save Reference as: BibTeX BibTeX File | Endote EndNote Import File
Keywords: Life Satisfaction; Happiness, Institutions, Extreme Bounds Analysis

JEL Classification: I31; H10; H40

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series:
Share this page: Google Bookmarks Google Bookmarks | Facebook Facebook | Twitter Twitter

Abstract:

This paper explores a wide range of cross-country determinants of life satisfaction exploiting a database of 90,000 observations in 70 countries. We distinguish four groups of aggregate variables as potential determinants of satisfaction: political, economic, institutional, and human development and culture. We use ordered probit to investigate the importance of these variables on individual life satisfaction and test the robustness of our results with Extreme Bounds Analysis. The results show that only a small number of factors, such as openness, business climate, postcommunism, the number of chambers in parliament, Christian majority, and infant mortality robustly influence life satisfaction across countries while the importance of many variables suggested in the previous literature is not confirmed. This remains largely true when the analysis splits national populations according to gender, income and political orientation also.