Correlational findings

Study Brulé & Veenhoven (2014a): study ZZ Developed nations 2000

Adults, developed nations, 2000
Survey name
Pooled surveys
N = 240000
Non Response
Multiple assesment methods


Authors's Label
Social freedom
Our Classification
Related specification variables
Social freedom is about the opportunity to choose and denotes the absence of restrictions imposed by other people. It includes political, private, and economic freedom.

A: Political freedom refers to civil liberties. Respect of civil liberties in nations is estimated on the basis of expert ratings of eleven aspects:
- Free and independent media
- Open public discussion, free private discussion
- Freedom of assembly and demonstration
- Freedom of political organization
- Equal law, non-discriminatory judiciary
- Protection from political terror
- Free trade unions, effective collective bargaining
- Free professional and other private organizations
- Free business
- Free religion
- Personal freedoms such as gender equality, property rights, freedom of movement, choice of residence, choice of marriage, and size of family.
Scores are between 1 (highest degree of freedom) and 7 (least amount of freedom).

B: Private freedom is measured by:
- Number of legal grounds for abortion in a country. A higher number indicates more freedom.
- Freedom of marriage, which includes 'legal restrictions to interracial, interreligious, or civil marriage' and 'equality of sexes during marriage and for divorce proceedings'. Ranking is by Humana (1992) on a scale of 1 to 4.
- Freedom of travel, which includes freedom to travel in own country and freedom to travel outside the country. Ranking is by Humana (1992), on a scale of 1 to 4.

C: Economic freedom is measured using the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) Index and the Freedom House Index. The EFW index by Gwartney and Lawson (2006). The first index was referred to as the Fraser Index. It contains 38 components designed to measure the degree to which a nation's institutions and policies are consistent with voluntary exchange, protection of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, regulation of credit labour and business. Data for 2006 is used in this study. The Freedom House Index developed by Messick and Kimura (1996) is based on six criteria: freedom to hold property, freedom to earn a living, freedom to operate a business, freedom to invest one's earnings, freedom to trade internationally, and freedom to participate in the market economy. The index ranges from 0 (lowest freedom) to 16 (most freedom). Data for the years 1995-1996 are used in this study.

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-a r = +.63 AVERAGE happiness by AVERAGE social freedom teaching in 27 developed nations. O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-a rpc = +.55 rpc controls for participatory teaching. O-SLW-c-sq-n-11-a rpc = .15 Path analysis