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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The World of Happiness

Different people around the world have different notions of happiness. Traditionally, religion(s) characterize happiness in different ways. Daniel Gilbert writes about the science Of happiness.Just came across an interesting report by Stefan Bergheim based on the world database of happiness.

Sorting 22 rich countries by variety
1. The happy variety: Australia, Switzerland, Canada, the UK, the US,
Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands (Finland and New Zealand
seem to be intermediate cases)
2. The less happy variety: Germany, Spain, France, Belgium and Austria
3. The unhappy variety: Portugal, Italy and Greece
4. The Far Eastern variety: Japan and Korea

Surprises (?):
– Spain is not in the same group with Italy
– Cannot differentiate between Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian economies
What constitutes happiness :The happy variety of capitalism -the package:
1. High degree of trust in fellow citizens
2. Low amount of corruption
3. Low unemployment
4. High level of education
5. High income
6. High employment rate of older people
7. Small shadow economy
8. Extensive economic freedom
9. Low employment protection
10.High birth rate
…and probably many more
=> All require a broad-based policy approach

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