Social Indicators Research

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 33–68 | Cite as

The cross-national pattern of happiness: Test of predictions implied in three theories of happiness

  • Ruut Veenhoven
  • Joop Ehrhardt


Predictions about level and dispersion of happiness in nations are derived from three theories of happiness: comparison-theory, folklore-theory and livability-theory. The predictions are tested on two cross national data-sets: a comparative survey among university students in 38 nations in 1985 and a collection of comparable general population surveys in 28 nations around 1980. Most predictions of comparison-theory and folklore-theory are defied by the data. The predictions of livability-theory are all confirmed.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruut Veenhoven
    • 1
  • Joop Ehrhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus University RotterdamDR RotterdamThe Netherlands

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