TAKING HAPPINESS SERIOUSLY

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1 TAKING HAPPINESS SERIOUSLY FLACSO-INEGI seminar Mexico City, April 18, 2013 John Helliwell Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and Vancouver School of Economics, UBC In collaboration with Shun Wang, KDI, Seoul

2 THREE STEPS TO IMPROVED WELL-BEING MEASUREMENT (e.g. OECD Guidelines) UNDERSTANDING INNOVATIONS TO IMPROVE LIVES

3 MEASURING WELL-BEING World Happiness Report April Many ways for people to evaluate their lives. The one available for most countries is the Cantril Ladder in the Gallup World Poll Cantril ladder: 0=worst possible life, 10=best. The map and figures show evaluations of life today by several thousand respondents in each of 150 countries.

4 How is your life today? (Cantril ladder) Mean Response (0 10) Data Source: Gallup World Poll waves

5 UNDERSTANDING KEY EXPLANATORY VARIABLES: (NATIONAL) GDP PER CAPITA HEALTHY LIFE EXPECTANCY SOMEONE TO COUNT ON ABSENCE OF CORRUPTION (government & business) GENEROSITY FREEDOM TO MAKE CHOICES

6 Average Cantril Ladder by Country - Part 1 (GWP 05-11) Denmark Finland Norway Netherlands Canada Switzerland Sweden New Zealand Australia Ireland United States Costa Rica Austria Israel Belgium Luxembourg United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Venezuela Iceland Panama Spain France Mexico Brazil Saudi Arabia Base country (1.770) + residual Explained by: GDP per capita Explained by: healthy life expectancy Explained by: social support Explained by: absence of corruption Explained by: generosity Explained by: freedom to make life choice

7 Average Cantril Ladder by Country - Part 2 (GWP 05-11) Puerto Rico Italy Kuwait Germany Qatar Turkmenistan Singapore Belize Cyprus Czech Republic Guatemala Trinidad & Tobago Argentina Jamaica Colombia Greece Chile Japan Guyana Taiwan Malta El Salvador Slovenia Uruguay Malaysia Thailand Base country (1.770) + residual Explained by: GDP per capita Explained by: healthy life expectancy Explained by: social support Explained by: absence of corruption Explained by: generosity Explained by: freedom to make life choice

8 Average Cantril Ladder by Country - Part 3 (GWP 05-11) Poland Jordan Slovakia South Korea Bolivia Croatia Kazakhstan Lithuania Bahrain Belarus Honduras Mauritius Vietnam Ecuador Hong Kong Kosovo Cuba Paraguay Algeria Estonia Portugal Myanmar Moldova Russia Peru Turkey Base country (1.770) + residual Explained by: GDP per capita Explained by: healthy life expectancy Explained by: social support Explained by: absence of corruption Explained by: generosity Explained by: freedom to make life choice

9 Average Cantril Ladder by Country - Part 4 (GWP 05-11) Uzbekistan Romania Libya Laos Indonesia Iran Pakistan Montenegro Tunisia Albania Nicaragua South Africa Ukraine Lebanon Dominican Republic India Djibouti Hungary Namibia Iraq Bosnia & Herzegovina Nigeria Egypt Kyrgyzstan Philippines Bangladesh Base country (1.770) + residual Explained by: GDP per capita Explained by: healthy life expectancy Explained by: social support Explained by: absence of corruption Explained by: generosity Explained by: freedom to make life choice

10 Average Cantril Ladder by Country - Part 5 (GWP 05-11) Morocco Latvia Syria Ghana Zambia Mozambique Somaliland Region China Mauritania Malawi Tajikistan Azerbaijan Botswana Serbia Mongolia Palestinian Territories Nepal Armenia Yemen Sudan Senegal Cameroon Macedonia Uganda Madagascar Sri Lanka Base country (1.770) + residual Explained by: GDP per capita Explained by: healthy life expectancy Explained by: social support Explained by: absence of corruption Explained by: generosity Explained by: freedom to make life choice

11 Average Cantril Ladder by Country - Part 6 (GWP 05-11) Afghanistan Rwanda Ivory Coast Kenya Angola Guinea Niger Cambodia Ethiopia Liberia Congo (Kinshasa) Zimbabwe Mali Burkina Faso Chad Georgia Bulgaria Congo (Brazzaville) Tanzania Haiti Comoros Burundi Sierra Leone Central African Republic Benin Togo Base country (1.770) + residual Explained by: GDP per capita Explained by: healthy life expectancy Explained by: social support Explained by: absence of corruption Explained by: generosity Explained by: freedom to make life choice

12 1.80 Difference in Life Evaluations Explained by Each Factor % % 22% 16% 15% 24% 12% 12% 11% 13% % 4% 6% 8% 0.00 Explained by: GDP per capita Explained by: healthy life expectancy Explained by: Explained by: social support absence of corruption Explained by: generosity Explained by: freedom to make life choice Unexplained difference Top 4 - Bottom 4 = 4.2 Top 10 - Bottom 10 = 3.85

13 Compensating Differentials for Trust in Management by Population Groups, from ESC 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% All Male Female Union Non- Union Compensating differentials for a move that covers about 10% of the sample Standard error of the estimate

14 Trust is needlessly low: People are much more trustworthy than you think survey: if found by neighbour survey: if found by stranger Actual, found by strangers Likelihood of lost wallet being returned if lost in Greater Toronto

15 RESULTS FROM EXPERIMENTAL SETTINGS POSITIVES TRUMP NEGATIVES (e.g. Sheldon Cohen) SOCIAL TRUMPS MATERIAL (e.g. elder care in Exeter, water clubs) GENEROSITY TRUMPS SELFISHNESS (giving, peer counselling). BOTTOM-UP TRUMPS TOP-DOWN ( how often more important than what ; Mental health patients caring for each other)

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