Correlational finding on Happiness and Government expenditures
Subject code: N12ab08b

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 Expenditures
Page in Source 8
Our classificationGovernment expenditures, code N12ab08b
Operationalization
Government expenditures as a % of GDP.
Remarks
Data Heritage Foundation & Wall Street Journal (2010).

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=+.51 p < .05
AVERAGE happiness by Government Expenditures 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-crpc=+.28 ns
rpc controlled for Democratic Good Governance
(=average score of 
-voice and accountability
-political stability and absence of violence)
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-cr=-.09 ns
INEQUALITY in happiness (sd) by Government 
Expenditures 

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


Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
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.


Appendix 2: Statistics used
SymbolExplanation
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,
Source:
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
https://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl