Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 85–118 | Cite as

Happiness and Leisure Across Countries: Evidence from International Survey Data

  • Miao Wang
  • M. C. Sunny WongEmail author
Research Paper


We study the statistical link between leisure and happiness. Using survey data from 33 countries in 2007, we find that (1) certain leisure activities, leisure’s role in self-fulfillment and social interaction, and leisure’s relation to work and other spheres of life are significantly linked to individual happiness; (2) the effect of leisure quantity is not as important as other aspects of leisure; and (3) some leisure activities can be negatively associated with happiness. Consistent with findings in previous studies, family income and individual demographic variables such as age and health condition are significantly associated with happiness. National unemployment and political stability also have robustly significant effects on happiness.


Happiness Leisure Multilevel model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMarquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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