Happiness, Faith, Friends, and Fortune—Empirical Evidence from the 1998 US Survey Data
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- Moghaddam, M. J Happiness Stud (2008) 9: 577. doi:10.1007/s10902-008-9090-9
This paper studies both pecuniary and non-pecuniary factors affecting happiness—an issue that has sparked a great deal of interest in the economic literature. Using an ordered Probit model and the 1998 general social survey (GSS) data, the paper empirically demonstrates the extent to which socioeconomic and demographic variables along with faith and emotionally based factors may determine happiness. The 1998 survey was conducted nearly at the conclusion of one of the longest economic expansion—a high income low inflation era in the US history. However, the findings tend to suggest that the absolute value of nominal income insignificantly, but non-pecuniary elements (faith and emotionally based factors including financial security) significantly determine happiness.