Findings on Happiness and HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS

World Database of Happiness

Correlational Findings on Happiness and HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS
Subject Code: H04

© on data collection: Ruut Veenhoven, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Classification of Findings
Subject Code Description Nr of Studies
on this Subject
H04HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS2
H04aaInequality in happiness among intimates0
H04abInequality of happiness in nations11
H04acInequality of happiness between rich and poor2
H04adInequality of happiness between males and females0
H04ab01Correlates of inequality of happiness in nations3
H04ab02Change in inequality in nations0
 
Appendices
Appendix 1Happiness measures used 
Appendix 2Statistics used 
Appendix 3About the World Database of Happiness 
Appendix 4Further Findings in the World Database of Happiness 
Appendix 5Related Subjects 

Cite as:    Veenhoven, R.: Findings on Happiness and HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS
World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings
Internet: http://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl/hap_cor/top_sub.php?code=H04
Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2017, Netherlands

Correlational finding on Happiness and HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS
Subject code: H04

StudyEhrhardt et al. (2000): study XZ Germany West 1984
TitleStability of Life-Satisfaction over Time. Analysis of Change in Ranks in National Population.
SourceJournal of Happiness Studies, 2000, Vol. 1, 177 - 205
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/8851
DOIDOI:10.1023/A:1010084410679
Public18+ aged general public West-Germany, followed 10 years, 1984-1994
SampleProbability multistage stratified area sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =5483

Correlate
Author's labelOvertime correlations of life-satisfaction total sample
Our classificationHAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS, code H04
Operationalization
Mean and standard deviation. Happiness assessed at
T1 = 1984
T2 = 1985
T3 = 1986
T4 = 1987
T5 = 1988
T6 = 1989
T7 = 1990

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-dDM=7.54
interval T1-T2 Mean  = 7.54 SD = 2.06
interval T2-T3 Mean  = 7.33 SD = 2.01
interval T3-T4 Mean  = 7.33 SD = 1.90
interval T4-T5 Mean  = 7.18 SD = 1.89
interval T5-T6 Mean  = 7.11 SD = 1.89
interval T6-T7 Mean  = 7.10 SD = 1.90
T7             Mean  = 7.24 SD = 1.79


Correlational finding on Happiness and HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS
Subject code: H04

StudyVeenhoven (2008b): study ZZ 1995
TitleComparability of Happiness accross Nations.
SourceSchool of Sociology and Social Work Journal no.104, Kwansei Gakuin University, 2008, Kobe, Japan.
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/14883
PublicAdults, general public, 98 nations, 2000s
SampleMixed samples
Non-Response
Respondents N =150000

Correlate
Author's labelIndividualism
Page in Source 225
Our classificationHAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS, code H04
Operationalization
Expert rating of individualism in nations (Harry 
Triandis)
Remarks
Data: Cited in Diener, E. et al. Journal of Personality 
and Social Psychology, 1995, vol 69, pp 851-864

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-ar=-.78
INEQUALITY OF HAPPINESS by individualism in 39 
nations
Inequality of happiness measured using the 
standard-deviation of happiness
Set Image size:   



Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyLewinter et al. (1996): study DK Hovenstaden (Capital region, København) 1991
TitleThe Social Situation of Elderly Turkish Immigrants in Copenhagen, Denmark.
SourceJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 1996, Vol. 11, 115 - 129
DOIDOI: 10.1007/BF00114856
Public55+aged Turkish migrants, Copenhagen, Denmark, 199?
SampleNon-probability purposive sample
Non-Response44%
Respondents N =116

Correlate
Author's labelMinority vs Majority
Page in Source 124
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
1: Turkish
0: Danish

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLu-g-sq-v-5-gD%= ns
% Happy (very or somewhat)
               all   males  female
Turkish        72    77     65
Danish         88    89     88
- difference  -16   -12    -23


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyBerg (2010): study ZZ 2000
TitleGeluk in Landen: Een Empirische Studie naar Condities voor een Gelukkige Samenleving. ( Happiness in Nations. An Emperical Study of Conditions for a Happy Society).
SourceDoctoral Thesis Department of Social Science, Erasmus University, 2010, Rotterdam, Netherlands
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/21068
PublicAdults, general public, 119 countries, 2000-2006
SampleProbability multistage stratified area sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =119

Correlate
Author's labelIncome inequality
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Gini coefficient 
0 complete income equality,  
  i.e. everbody earns exactly the same 
1 complete inequality, i.e. one person  
  earns the national income, while  
  others have no income at all

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-ar=-.08
Income inequality by AVERAGE HAPPINESS in 119 
nations
O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-arpc=+.28
rpc controlled for wealth
Set Image size:   

C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=-.26
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-crpc=+.14
rpc controlled for wealth
A-AB-yd-mq-v-2-br=+.12
A-AB-yd-mq-v-2-brpc=+.28
rpc controlled for wealth
O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-ar=+.21
Income inequality by INEQUALIY OF HAPPINESS in 119 
nations
O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-arpc=-.01
rpc controlled for wealth
Set Image size:   



Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyFahey & Smyth (2004a): study ZZ Europe 1999
TitleThe Link between Subjective Well-Being and Objective Conditions in European Societies.
SourceArts, W.;Halman, L.;Eds.: ''European Values at the Turn of the Millennium'', Brill, 2004, Boston, USA, 57 - 80
Public18+ aged, general public, 33 European nations, 1999-2000
SampleProbability multi-stage cluster sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =39799

Correlate
Author's labelStandard deviation in life satisfaction
Page in Source 67
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Standard deviation of responses to question: 

All things considered, how satisfied are you with your 
life as-a-whole these days?
1   dissatisfied
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10  satisfied
Observed distributionRange: 1.34 (Netherlands) to 2,77 (Romania).
Remarks
Source: World Values Survey 1999-2000

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-aR²=.77 p < .00
Average life-satisfaction by standard deviation of 
life-satisfaction in 33 nations (bivariate).
Set Image size:   



Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyOtt (2005): study ZZ 1991
TitleLevel and Inequality of Happiness in Nations; Does Greater Happiness of a Greater Number imply Greater Inequality in Happiness?
SourceJournal of Happines Studies, 2005, Vol. 6, 397 - 420.
DOIDOI:10.1007/s10902-005-8856-6
Public18+ aged, general public, 78 nations, 1991-2001
SampleProbability sample (unspecified)
Non-Response
Respondents N =100000

Correlate
Author's labelInequality of happininess in nations
Page in Source 402
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Standard deviation of responses to single question on 
happiness in nations:
All things considered, how satisfied are you with your 
life as-a-whole these days?
1   dissatisfied
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10  satisfied
Observed distributionRange: 1,34 (Netherlands) to: 3,35 (Egypt)

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-ar=-.65
Average happiness (mean) by inequality of 
happiness (SD) in 78 nations.
 
Meaning: higher average of happiness goes with 
lower inequality in happiness (SD).


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyVeenhoven & Kalmijn (2005): study ZZ 1990
TitleInequality-Adjusted Happiness in Nations. Egalitatianism and Utilitarianism Married in a New Index of Social Performance.
SourceJournal of Happiness Studies, 2005, Vol. 6, 421 - 455
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/7204
DOIDOI:10.1007/s10902-005-8857-5
PublicAdults, general public, 90 nations, 1990s
SampleMixed samples
Non-Response
Respondents N =90000

Correlate
Author's labelPurchasing power per head
Page in Source 432+436
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Real GNP per capita in 1995
Remarks
Source: Human Development Report 1999, Table 1 (United 
Nations Development Program)

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW---sq-t-11-ar=+.66
LEVEL OF HAPPINESS by purchasing power per head in 
78 nations
Level of happiness measured with the average score
O-SLW---sq-t-11-ar=-.64
INEQUALITY OF HAPPINESS by purchasing power in 78 
nations
Inequality of happiness measured by the standard 
deviation
O-SLW---sq-t-11-ar=+.68
INEQUALITY-ADJUSTED HAPPINESS by purchasing power 
per head in 78 nations
Inequality-adjusted happiness measured using an 
index of average and standard deviation, as 
proposed by Kalmijn & Veenhoven (2005)


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyVeenhoven (2005): study ZZ 1990
TitleApparent Quality-of-Life in Nations: How Long and Happy People Live.
SourceSocial Indicators Research, 2005, Vol. 71, 61 - 86
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/7200
DOIDOI: 10.1007/s11205-004-8014-2
PublicAdults, general public, 67 nations, 1990s
SampleProbability sample (unspecified)
Non-Response
Respondents N =100000

Correlate
Author's labelDisparity in happiness
Page in Source 73
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Standard deviation of life satisfaction
Remarks
See VEENH2002B in this database

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
Y-LH-l-sq-nt-100-ar=-.64
Happy life years by Disparity in happiness in 54 
nations in the 1990s.
Y-LH-l-sq-nt-100-arpc=-.37
rpc controlled for purchasing power per head.


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyOuweneel (2000): study ZZ 1980
TitleMeer Zekerheid is Niet Meer Welzijn. (More Security is Not more Well-Being).
SourceEconomische Statistische Berichten, 2000, 14th April, 320 - 322
PublicAdults, general public, 15 nations 1980, 39 nations 1990
SampleMixed samples
Non-Responsen.a.
Respondents N =50000

Correlate
Author's labelChange in inequality in happiness and social security
Page in Source 322
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Growth social security expenditure in % GNP per capita 
over the period 1980-1990

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
A-BB-cm-mq-v-2-ar=- ns
Correlation with 1980-90 CHANGE in INEQUALITY of 
happiness in nations as measured with the standard 
deviation (instead of level as measured with mean)
A-BB-cm-mq-v-2-arpc=- ns
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-ar=- ns
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-arpc=- ns
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-ar=+ ns
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-arpc=+ ns
rpc's  controlled for Real GDP growth between 
1980-1990


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyVeenhoven (2002a): study ZZ EU 12 1973
TitleDie Rückkehr der Ungleichheit in die moderne Gesellschaft? Die Verteillung der Lebenszufriedenheit in den EU-Ländern von 1973 bis 1996. ( Return of Inequlaity in Modern Society? Dispersion of Life-Satisfaction in EU-Nations 1973 -1996).
SourceGlatzer, W.;Habich, R.;Mayer, K.U.;Eds.: "Sozialer Wandel und gesellschaftliche Dauerbeobachtung", Leske & Budrich, 2002, Opladen, Germany, 273 - 293
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/8751
PublicAdults, general public, EU 12 member states, 1973-1996
SampleProbability sample (unspecified)
Non-Response
Respondents N =15000

Correlate
Author's labelInequality of happiness
Page in Source 293
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Standard deviation of responses to single  question: On 
the whole how satisfied are you with the life you lead?
4  very satisfied
3  fairly satisfied
2  not very satisfied
1  not at all satisfied
-  Don't know

Asked bi-annually 1973 to 1996
Remarks
Trend assessed in 4 North European nations (Denmark, 
Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands) and 4 South 
European nations (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain)
From 1980 on in Ireland, from 1985 on in Portugal and 
Spain

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-br=-.49
Trend in inequality of happiness by trend in 
average happiness in nations.
Average correlation in 12 EU nations 1973-1996


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyVeenhoven (2002a): study ZZ EU 12 1973
TitleDie Rückkehr der Ungleichheit in die moderne Gesellschaft? Die Verteillung der Lebenszufriedenheit in den EU-Ländern von 1973 bis 1996. ( Return of Inequlaity in Modern Society? Dispersion of Life-Satisfaction in EU-Nations 1973 -1996).
SourceGlatzer, W.;Habich, R.;Mayer, K.U.;Eds.: "Sozialer Wandel und gesellschaftliche Dauerbeobachtung", Leske & Budrich, 2002, Opladen, Germany, 273 - 293
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/8751
PublicAdults, general public, EU 12 member states, 1973-1996
SampleProbability sample (unspecified)
Non-Response
Respondents N =15000

Correlate
Author's labelTrend inequality in happiness 1973-1996
Page in Source 293
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Standard deviation of responses to single  question: On 
the whole how satisfied are you with the life you lead?
4  very satisfied
3  fairly satisfied
2  not very satisfied
1  not at all satisfied
-  Don't know

Asked bi-annually 1973 to 1996
Remarks
Trend assessed in 4 North European nations (Denmark, 
Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands) and 4 South 
European nations (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain)
From 1980 on in Ireland, from 1985 on in Portugal and 
Spain

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-br=-.67 p < .000
Average standard deviation of life satisfaction by 
year in 12 EU nations 1973-1996. 
Inequality in happiness declined in all nations 
except France
Set Image size:   

O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-brpc=-.59 p < .003
Trend standard deviation of happiness controlled 
for trend in average happiness.

Inequality in happiness declined irrespective of 
rising level of happiness in these nations


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyVeenhoven (2005d): study ZZ EU 14 1970
TitleReturn of Inequality in Modern Society? Test by Dispersion of Life-Satisfaction across Time and Nations.
SourceJournal of Happiness Studies, 2005, Vol. 6, 457 - 487
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/7202
DOIDOI:10.1007/s10902-005-8854-4
Public15+ aged, general public, EU 14 member states, 1973-2001
SampleMixed samples
Non-Response
Respondents N =374000

Correlate
Author's label1997 purchasing power p/c
Page in Source 479
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Real GNP per capita in 1997
Remarks
Source: Human Development Report 1998. (United Nations 
Development Program)

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-br=-.68
INEQUALITY in happiness by purchasing power p/c in 
61 nations

Inequality in happiness in nations measured using 
the standard deviation (average over the 1990s
Set Image size:   



Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab

StudyVeenhoven (2005d): study ZZ EU 14 1970
TitleReturn of Inequality in Modern Society? Test by Dispersion of Life-Satisfaction across Time and Nations.
SourceJournal of Happiness Studies, 2005, Vol. 6, 457 - 487
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1765/7202
DOIDOI:10.1007/s10902-005-8854-4
Public15+ aged, general public, EU 14 member states, 1973-2001
SampleMixed samples
Non-Response
Respondents N =374000

Correlate
Author's labelTrend in dispersion of life-satisfaction
Page in Source 474-477
Our classificationInequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab
Operationalization
Selfreport on single question:
On the whole how satisfied are you with the life you 
lead?
4  very satisfied
3  fairly satisfied
2  not very satisfied
1  not at all satisfied
-  Don't know
Observed distributionAverage standard deviation about 0,7
Remarks
Inequality in happiness measured using the standard 
deviation

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bb=-.00 p < .05
B = -.00176 CI95 [ -0,001 to -0,003]
This means a yearly drop in inequality of 0,18%. 
If this trend continues lineriarly, it will take 
about 50 years to reduce the standard-deviation 
from about 0,7 to 0,6 and another 300 years would 
be required to reduce it to zero
Set Image size:   

O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-b
Decline of inequality of happiness stronger in 
South than North European countries
Set Image size:   

O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-b
The decline of standard deviations is only partly 
due to rise of the mean level of happiness
Set Image size:   



Correlational finding on Happiness and Correlates of inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab01

StudyOtt (2011): study ZZ 2006
TitleGovernment and Happiness in 130 Nations: Good Governance Fosters Higher Level and More Equality of Happiness.
SourceSocial Indicators Research, 2011, Vol. 102, 3 - 22
DOIDOI:10.1007/s11205-010-9719-z
Public18+ aged, general public, 130 nations, 2006
SampleProbability stratified sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =130000

Correlate
Author's labelTechnical Good Governance
Page in Source 9
Our classificationCorrelates of inequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab01
Operationalization
Average score of
-government effectiveness
-regulatory quality
-rule of law
-control of corruption
Remarks
Data World Bank; Kaufmann et al. Government Indicators 
2008

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=+.75 p < .00
AVERAGE happiness by Technical Good Governance in 
130 nations.
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-crpc=+.58 p < .05
rpc controlled for Democratic Governance = average 
score on 
-voice and accountability and 
-political stability and absence of violence
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=-.18 ns
INEQUALITY in happiness by Technical Good 
Governance in 130 nations.

Relationship is not linear: positive if technical 
government quality is below average (r= +0,29) and 
negative if technical government quality is above 
average (r= -0,64).

Inequality in happiness is measured with standard 
deviation: + = more inequality,
- = less inequality.


Correlational finding on Happiness and Correlates of inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab01

StudyOtt (2011): study ZZ 2006
TitleGovernment and Happiness in 130 Nations: Good Governance Fosters Higher Level and More Equality of Happiness.
SourceSocial Indicators Research, 2011, Vol. 102, 3 - 22
DOIDOI:10.1007/s11205-010-9719-z
Public18+ aged, general public, 130 nations, 2006
SampleProbability stratified sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =130000

Correlate
Author's labelSize of Government in Consumption
Page in Source 8
Our classificationCorrelates of inequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab01
Operationalization
Government Consumption as a % of total national 
consumption
Remarks
Data Fraser Institute, Gwartney and Lawson (2006).

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=+.46 p < .05
AVERAGE happiness by Government Consumption
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-crpc=+.14 ns
rpc controlled for Technical Good Governance
(=average score of
-government effectiveness
-regulatory quality
-rule of law
-control of corruption)
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-crpc=+.30 ns
rpc controlled for Democratic Government 
(=average score of 
-voice and accountability
-political stability and absence of violence)
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=-.23 ns
INEQUALITY in happiness (sd) by Government 
Consumption 

(Less Inequality in Happiness at higher levels of 
Government Consumption)


Correlational finding on Happiness and Correlates of inequality of happiness in nations
Subject code: H04ab01

StudyOtt (2011): study ZZ 2006
TitleGovernment and Happiness in 130 Nations: Good Governance Fosters Higher Level and More Equality of Happiness.
SourceSocial Indicators Research, 2011, Vol. 102, 3 - 22
DOIDOI:10.1007/s11205-010-9719-z
Public18+ aged, general public, 130 nations, 2006
SampleProbability stratified sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =130000

Correlate
Author's labelDemocratic Governance
Page in Source 9
Our classificationCorrelates of inequality of happiness in nations, code H04ab01
Operationalization
Average score for
-voice and accountability
-political stability and absence of violence
Remarks
Data World Bank; Kaufmann et al. Government Indicators 
2008

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=+0,6 p < .00
AVERAGE happiness by Democratic Good Governance
in 130 nations
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-crpc=-.17 ns
rpc controlled for Technical Good Governance
(=average score of
-government effectiveness
-regulatory quality
-rule of law
-control of corruption)
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=-.26 ns
INEQUALITY in happiness by Democratic Good 
Governance in 130 nations.

Relationship is not linear: positive if democratic 
government quality is below average (r= +0,21) and 
negative if technical government quality is above 
average (r= -0,24).

Inequality in happiness is measured with standard 
deviation: + = more inequality,
- = less inequality.


Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness between rich and poor
Subject code: H04ac

StudyAlber & Lenarz (2008): study ZZ EU 27 2003
TitleWachsende soziale Ungleichheit in Europa. (Growing Social Inequality in Europe).
SourceISI Bulletin, 2008, Vol. 39, 1 - 5
URLhttp://www.gesis.org/fileadmin/upload/forschung/publikationen/zeitschriften/isi/isi-39.pdf
PublicAdults, general public, EU 27 member states and Turkey, 2003
SampleProbability stratified sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =35000

Correlate
Author's labelIncome
Page in Source 4
Our classificationInequality of happiness between rich and poor, code H04ac
Operationalization
Income Quartiles

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLu-c-sq-n-10-bDM=+
Average happiness in income quartiles in 25 
nations

In rich nations, the poor are happier than the 
rich in poor nations.

Difference in happiness across income categories 
is smaller in rich nations than in poor nations
Set Image size:   



Correlational finding on Happiness and Inequality of happiness between rich and poor
Subject code: H04ac

StudyBjornskov (2006a): study ZZ 1995
TitleIdeological Interpretation of Easterlin's Income-Happiness Paradox: A Warning.
SourcePaper Aarhus School of Business, May 2006, Denmark
Public18+ aged, general public, 67 nations, 1995-2002
SampleMixed samples
Non-Response
Respondents N =70000

Correlate
Author's labelRegulatory Freedom
Page in Source 8
Our classificationInequality of happiness between rich and poor, code H04ac
Operationalization
Regulatory Freedom
Observed distributionN = 67 M = 0.56 ; Sd = 0,98 (z-scores in original sample).
Remarks
Source: Gwartney and Lawson (Fraser Institute, 2005)

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLW-c-sq-l-10-a
DIFFERENCE IN HAPPINESS between poor and rich 
citizens by regulatory freedom in 67 nations. 

'Poor' is lowest 33%, 'rich highest 33% in self 
rated income position.
O-SLW-c-sq-l-10-ab=-.13 p < .05
B (-0,133) controlled for
-GDP per capita
-Openness
-Government share in national consumption
-Postcommunist
-Income-inequality

The more freedom in a nation, the less difference 
in happiness between poor and rich. 
Yet among rich and democratic nations freedom is 
not related to difference in happiness between the 
rich and the poor


Appendices

Appendix 1: Happiness measures used

CodeFull Text
A-AB-yd-mq-v-2-bSelfreport on 14 questions

Did you experience the following feelings during A LOT OF THE DAY yesterday? How about..
A enjoyment?
B physical pain
C worry
D sadness
E stress
F anger
G depression
H love

Now please think about YESTERDAY, from the morning untill the end of the day. Think of where you were, what you were doing and how you felt.
I Did you feel well rested yesterday?
J Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?
K Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?
L Would you like to have more days just like yesterday?
M Were you proud of something you did yesterday?
N Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?

Rated:
1 yes
0 no
- no answer, don't know

Computation:
- Average % positive affect = (A+H+I+J+K+L+M+N)/8
- Average % negative affect = (B+C+D+E+F+G)/6
- Affect Balance = Average % positive affect - Average % negative affect


These questions do not measure hedonic level of affect of individual persons adequately, since yesterday's mood does not always correspond with typical average mood. Yet these questions can be used for measuring hedonic level in agregates, such as nations, since individual variations balance out in big samples.
A-BB-cm-mq-v-2-aSelfreport on 10 questions:

During the past few weeks, did you ever feel ....? (yes/no)
A Particularly exited or interested in something?
B So restless that you couldn't sit long in a chair?
C Proud because someone complimented you on something
you had done?
D Very lonely or remote from other people?
E Pleased about having accomplished something?
F Bored?
G On top of the world?
H Depressed or very unhappy?
I That things were going your way?
J Upset because someone criticized you?

Answer options and scoring:
yes = 1
no = 0
Summation:
-Positive Affect Score (PAS): A+C+E+G+I
-Negative Affect Score (NAS): B+D+F+H+J
-Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS minus NAS
Possible range: -5 to +5

Name: Bradburn's 'Affect Balance Scale' (standard version)
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cSelfreport on single question:

Here is ladder representing the 'ladder of life'. Let's suppose the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you; and the bottom, the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time?
10 best possible
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0 worst possible life

This question was followed (not preceded) by items on life 5 years ago and 5 years from now.
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-aSelfreport on single question:

Taking all things together, would you say you are.....?
4 very happy
3 quite happy
2 not very happy
1 not at all happy.
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bSelfreport on single question:

On the whole how satisfied are you with the life you lead?
4 very satisfied
3 fairly satisfied
2 not very satisfied
1 not at all satisfied
- Don't know
O-SLu-c-sq-n-10-bSelfreport on single question:

All things considered, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your life these days? Please tell me on a scale of 1 to 10, where one means very dissatisfied and 10 means very satisfied
10 very satisfied
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1 very dissatisfied
O-SLu-g-sq-v-5-gSelfreport on single question:

How satisfied are you with your life in general?
5 very satisfied
4 somewhat satisfied
3 neither satisfied nor d1ssatisfied
2 somewhat dissatisfied
1 very disdsatisfied
O-SLW---sq-t-11-aSelf report on single question:

Various questions on overall satisfaction with life as a whole.

Scores transformed to scale 0-10
O-SLW-c-sq-l-10-aSelf report on single question:

Taking all together, how satisfied are you currently with your life as a whole? Please indicate on this ladder. 1 means 'not satisfied at all' and 10 completely satisfied
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-aSelfreport on single question:

All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as-a-whole these days?
1 dissatisfied
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10 satisfied
O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-aSelfreport on single question:

All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?
0 dissatisfied
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10 satisfied
O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-dSelfreport on single question:

Taking all things together, how satisfied are you with your life these days? Please answer with the help of this scale. For instance, when you are totally satisfied with your life, please tick '10'. When you are totally unsatisfied with your life, please tick '0'. You may use all values in between to indicate that you are neither totally satisfied nor totally unsatisfied."
10 totally satisfied
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0 totally unsatisfied
Y-LH-l-sq-nt-100-aHappy Life Years

Life-expectancy in nations multiplied by 0-1 average happiness as assessed with survey questions type O-HL


Appendix 2: Statistics used

SymbolExplanation
bREGRESSION COEFFICIENT (non-standardized) by LEAST SQUARES (OLS)
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Theoretical range: unlimited

Meaning:
b > 0 A higher correlate level corresponds with a higher happiness rating on average.
B < 0 A higher correlate level corresponds with a lower happiness rating on average.
B = 0 Not any correlation with the relevant correlate.
D%DIFFERENCE in PERCENTAGES
Type: descriptive statistic only.
Measurement level: Correlate level: dichotomous, but nominal or ordinal theoretically possible as well. Happiness level: dichotomous
Range: [-100; +100]

Meaning: the difference of the percentages happy people at two correlate levels.
DMDIFFERENCE of MEANS
Type: descriptive statistic only.
Measurement level: Correlate: dichotomous, Happiness: metric
Range: depending on the happiness rating scale of the author; range symmetric about zero.

Meaning: the difference of the mean happiness, as measured on the author's rating scale, between the two correlate levels.
rPRODUCT-MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENT (Also "Pearson's correlation coefficient' or simply 'correlation coefficient')
Type: test statistic.
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [-1; +1]

Meaning:
r = 0 « no correlation ,
r = 1 « perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with high happiness values, and
r = -1 « perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with low happiness values.
rpcPARTIAL CORRELATION COEFFICIENT
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [-1; +1]

Meaning: a partial correlation between happiness and one of the correlates is that correlation, which remains after accounting for the contribution of the other influences, or some of them, to the total variability in the happiness scores.
Under that conditions
rpc > 0 « a higher correlate level corresponds with a higher happiness rating,
rpc < 0 « a higher correlate level corresponds with a lower happiness rating,
COEFFICIENT of DETERMINATION
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlates: all metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [0; 1]

Meaning:
R² = 0 « no influence of any correlate in this study has been established.
R² = 1 « the correlates determine the happiness completely.


Appendix 3: About the World Database of Happiness

Structure of the collections

The World Database of Happiness is an archive of research findings on subjective enjoyment of life .
It brings together findings that are scattered throughout many studies and provides a basis for synthetic work.

World literature on subjective wellbeing


Selection on fit with definition of happiness

Bibliography    and     Directory    

Selection of empirical studies and within these on valid measurement: Happiness measures
Abstracting and classification of findings

How happy people are, distributional findings What goes together with happiness

Happiness in nations
Happiness in regions
Happiness in publics
Correlational findings

  Listing of comparable findings in nations  
States of nations   ,   Trends in nations


Size of the collections
11627 publications in Bibliography of happiness, of which 6066 report an empirical study that is eligible for inclusion in the findings archive.
1124 measures of happiness, mostly single survey questions varying in wording and response scale.
12236 distributional findings in the general public, of which 8479 in 172 nations (former nations and de facto nations included) and 3757 findings in 2454 regions and cities in nations.
2072 studies with findings in 160 specific publics.
15337 correlational findings observed in 2016 studies, excerpted from 1541 publications.

Appendix 4 Further Findings in the World Database of Happiness

Main Subjects Subject Description Number of Studies
A01ACTIVITY (how much one does)72
A02ACTIVITY: PATTERN (what one does)112
A03AFFECTIVE LIFE82
A04AGE661
A05AGGRESSION14
A06ANOMY33
A07APPEARANCE (good looks)24
A08ATTITUDES11
A09AUTHORITARIANISM4
B01BIRTH CONTROL0
B02BIRTH HISTORY (own birth)205
B03BODY99
C01CHILDREN12
C02CHILDREN: WANT FOR (Parental aspirations)13
C03CHILDREN: HAVING (parental status)306
C04CHILDREN: CHARACTERISTICS OF ONE'S CHILDREN32
C05CHILDREN: RELATION WITH ONE'S CHILDREN17
C06CHILDREN: REARING OF ONE'S CHILDREN (parental behavior)35
C07COMMUNAL LIVING16
C08CONCERNS40
C09CONSUMPTION113
C10COPING64
C11CREATIVENESS7
C12CRIME2
C13CULTURE (Arts and Sciences)41
D01DAILY JOYS & HASSLES7
D02DISASTER1
E01EDUCATION516
E02EMPLOYMENT 739
E03ETHNICITY169
E04EXPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR12
F01FAMILY OF ORIGIN (earlier family for adults, current for young)311
F02FAMILY OF PROCREATION102
F03FAMILY OF RELATIVES189
F04FARMING66
F05FREEDOM56
F06FRIENDSHIP236
G01GENDER622
G02GRIEF1
H01HABITS2
H02HANDICAP47
H03HAPPINESS: VIEWS ON HAPPINESS119
H04HAPPINESS: DISPERSION OF HAPPINESS18
H05HAPPINESS: CAREER225
H06HAPINNESS: EFFECT OF CONDITIONS FOR HAPPINESS1
H07HAPPINESS: CORRESPONDENCE OF DIFFERENT MEASURES342
H08HAPPINESS OF OTHERS6
H09HAPPINESS: REPUTATION OF HAPPINESS26
H10HEALTH-BEHAVIOR32
H11HELPING16
H12HOPE35
H13HOUSEHOLD: COMPOSITION238
H14HOUSEHOLD: WORK41
H15HOUSING261
I01INCOME1042
I02INSTITUTIONAL LIVING44
I03INTELLIGENCE86
I04INTERESTS17
I05INTERVIEW 87
I06INTIMACY141
L01LANGUAGE18
L02LEADERSHIP13
L03LEISURE328
L04LIFE APPRAISALS: OTHER THAN HAPPINESS457
L05LIFE CHANGE70
L06LIFE EVENTS106
L07LIFE GOALS119
L08LIFE HISTORY11
L09LIFE STYLE 39
L10LOCAL ENVIRONMENT701
L11LOTTERY14
L12LOVE-LIFE44
M01MARRIAGE: MARITAL STATUS CAREER108
M02MARRIAGE: CURRENT MARITAL STATUS862
M03MARRIAGE: RELATIONSHIP155
M04MARRIAGE: PARTNER76
M05MEANING29
M06MEDICAL TREATMENT107
M07MENTAL HEALTH302
M08MIGRATION: TO OTHER COUNTRY97
M09MIGRATION: MOVING WITHIN COUNTRY (residential mobility)49
M10MIGRATION: MIGRANT WORK5
M11MILITARY LIFE13
M12MODERNITY5
M13MOOD338
M14MOTIVATION21
M15MOBILITY20
N01NATION: NATIONALITY68
N02NATION: ERA (temporal period)121
N03NATION: NATIONAL CHARACTER (modal personality)75
N04NATION: CONDITION IN ONE'S NATION996
N05NATION: POSITION OF ONE'S NATION16
N06NATION: ATTITUDES TO ONES NATION190
N07NATION: LIVABILITY OF ONE'S NATION53
N08NATION: ATTITUDINAL CLIMATE14
N09NATION: REGION132
N10NUTRITION36
N11NATION: AREA2
O01OCCUPATION222
O02ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION16
P01PERSONALITY: HISTORY55
P02PERSONALITY: CHANGE11
P03PERSONALITY: CURRENT ORGANIZATION10
P04PERSONALITY: CURRENT TRAITS722
P05PERSONALITY: LATER21
P06PHYSICAL HEALTH 814
P07PLANNING11
P08POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR279
P09POPULARITY30
P10POSSESSIONS152
P11PRISON3
P12PROBLEMS30
P13PSYCHO-SOMATIC COMPLAINTS63
P14PETS4
R01RELIGION414
R02RESOURCES29
R03RETIREMENT151
R04ROLES31
S01SCHOOL201
S02SELF-IMAGE311
S03SEX-LIFE76
S04SLEEP17
S05SOCIAL MOBILITY25
S06SOCIAL PARTICIPATION: PERSONAL CONTACTS98
S07SOCIAL PARTICIPATION : VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS150
S08SOCIAL PARTICIPATION: TOTAL (personal + associations)54
S09SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS189
S10SOCIAL SUPPORT: RECEIVED115
S11SOCIAL SUPPORT: PROVIDED24
S12SPORTS62
S13STIMULANTS79
S14SUICIDE9
S15SUMMED DETERMINANTS165
T01TIME 105
T02THERAPY56
T03TOLERANCE37
T04TRUST43
V01VALUES: CAREER6
V02VALUES: CURRENT PREFERENCES (own)158
V03VALUES: CLIMATE (current values in environment)13
V04VALUES: SIMILARITY (current fit with others)13
V05VALUES: LIVING UP TO18
V06VICTIM 31
W01WAR7
W02WISDOM1
W03WORK: CAREER1
W04WORK: CONDITIONS111
W05WORK: ATTITUDES409
W06WORK: PERFORMANCE (current)37
W07WORRIES51
X01UNCLASSIFIED34


Appendix 5: Related Subjects

SubjectRelated Subject(s)
H04aaInequality in happiness among intimatesH03ab03cPerceived difference with own happiness
H04abInequality of happiness in nationsN04ah07aInequality in happiness
H04abInequality of happiness in nationsN09ac09Inequality in quality of life in region
H04ab02Change in inequality in nationsN02ab01Trend inequality of happiness in era
H04acInequality of happiness between rich and poorI01abCurrent income level (unspecified)
H04acInequality of happiness between rich and poorN02abInequality of happiness in era
H04acInequality of happiness between rich and poorN04ah03Income inequality
H04adInequality of happiness between males and femalesG01aa02Cross national variation in gender difference in happiness

A report of the World Database of Happiness, Correlational Findings