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Correlational findings

Study Rode (2013): study ZZ World samples 1995

Public:
18+ years, general public, 87 countries, 1995-2005
Survey name:
WorldValuesSurvey 1994-2008
Sample:
Respondents:
N = 180000
Non Response:
Assessment:
Interview: face-to-face

Correlate

Authors's label
Importance of God
Our Classification
Operationalization
The average of citizen's responses to the question, "How important is God in your life?" Responses are on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 10 (very important).

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.19 p < .01 AVERAGE happiness by AVERAGE importance of God
In 87 nations

b controls for:
-average memberships
-importance of God
-log GDP per capita (PPP)
-unemployment rate
-divorce rate
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.17 p < .01 b additionally controls for:
-economic freedom
-democracy
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.06 ns b additionally controls for:
-regional dummies
-period dummies
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.07 p < .10 b controls for:
-size of government INSTEAD of economic freedom
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.07 p < .10 b controls for:
-legal system and property rights INSTEAD of economic freedom
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.06 ns b controls for:
-sound money INSTEAD of economic freedom
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.08 p < .10 b controls for:
-freedom to trade INSTEAD of economic freedom
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.06 ns b controls for:
-regulation INSTEAD of economic freedom
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.06 ns In 61 poor countries (GDP per capita less than $20,000)

Similar coefficients are obtained when size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade and regulation are controlled for INSTEAD of economic freedom.
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.06 ns In 43 rich countries (GDP per capita more than $10,000)

Similar coefficients are obtained when size of government, sound money,and regulation are controlled for INSTEAD of economic freedom. When legal system and property rights and freedom to trade are controlled for instead of economic freedom, importance of God is significant (p<.10).

b controls for:
-average memberships
-importance of God
-log GDP per capita (PPP)
-unemployment rate
-divorce rate
-democracy
-economic freedom
-regional dummies
-period dummies
O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a b = +.15 p < .01 When economic freedom is instrumented by:
- air distance to New York, Rotterdam, and Tokyo
- the fraction of the population that speaks English as a mother tongue

b controls for:
- social trust
- average memberships
- log GDP per capita
- unemployment rate
- divorce rate
- spirits consumption

Similar results are obtained for poor and rich nations, and when some of the controls are removed.

In sum: When significant, importance of God is positively associated with average life satisfaction in nations.