Social Indicators Research

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 155–170

Does Country Matter for Subjective Well-Being?



It is known that characteristics of individuals explain only a part of the variations in Subjective Well-Being (SWB) between people. The country of origin of an individual accounts for a significant part of these differences. We study what drives the variations in SWB between countries after taking individual characteristics into account. We base our analysis on data from the four waves of the World Values Survey. 64% of the variations between the countries in the sample (64 countries) are explained by the natality rate, life expectancy, the level of corruption and a Muslim culture. This adds to the discussion on the link between economic conditions and SWB. The economic situation is not an explanatory variable in a direct way but indirectly affects SWB through some of the significant variables. Corruption has detrimental effects on SWB beyond its economic consequences.


Subjective well-being Country World values survey Corruption 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IESE Business SchoolUniversity of NavarreBarcelonaSpain

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