Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 207: The Relationship between Happiness, Health and Socio-economic Factors: Results Based on Swedish Micro Data

Ulf-G Gerdtham () and Magnus Johannesson ()
Additional contact information
Ulf-G Gerdtham: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Magnus Johannesson: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between happiness (utility) and a host of socio-economic variables. The data set consists of a random sample of over 5,000 individuals from the Swedish adult population. Happiness is measured by a three-point categorical measure of overall happiness (not happy, happy sometimes, happy most of the time), and an ordered probit model is used to econometrically estimate the happiness equation. The results are consistent with the theoretical predictions and show that happiness increases with income and education and decreases with unemployment, urbanisation, being single, and male gender. The relationship between age and happiness is U-shaped, with happiness being lowest in the age-group 45-64.

Keywords: Happiness; utility; health; socioeconomic factors

JEL-codes: D60; I12; I31

29 pages, November 21, 1997

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