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Correlational findings

Study Welsch (2002): study ZZ World samples 2000

Public:
18+ aged, general public, 54 countries, 2000
Survey name:
WorldValuesSurvey 4
Sample:
Respondents:
N = 55000
Non Response:
Assessment:
Interview: face-to-face

Correlate

Authors's label
Political freedom
Our Classification
Operationalization
Degree to which civil rights and liberties are held in respect, on a scale of 1 (low levels of liberties) to 7 (high levels).

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = +.07 p < .10 AVERAGE happiness by AVERAGE political freedom in 54 countries. O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = -.03 ns b controls for:
-income (GNP per capita)
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = +.07 p < .10 b controls for:
-rationality (number of scientists and engineers per capita)
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = -.03 ns b controls for:
-rationality (number of scientists and engineers per capita)
-income (GNP per capita)
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = -.28 ns b controls for:
-political freedom-squared
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = +.09 ns b controls for:
-political freedom-squared
-income (GNP per capita)
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = -.37 p < .05 b controls for:
-political freedom-squared
-rationality (number of scientists and engineers per capita)
-rationality-squared
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a b = -.12 ns b additionally controls for:
-income (GNP per capita)

Similar results are obtained when b additionally controls for income squared.

Analysis with political freedom-squared yields similar results.

Analysis using seemingly unrelated regressions also show that political freedom has no association with happiness.
O-HL-u-sq-v-4-a = Total marginal impact of freedom on happiness.
The positive impact of freedom on happiness is greater among rich nations.

The y-axis shows the relationship between freedom and happiness for each country, based on the regression coefficients.

The x-axis shows national income (GNP per capita).

Political freedom affects happiness indirectly through income. Political freedom relates negatively to happiness at low levels of income and positively at high levels of income.