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Can Money Buy Happiness? Evidence for European Countries


This research comes to empirical investigate the influence of income on the level of happiness. Can money buy happiness? It’s one of the most frequently disputed and researched questions of all time. At first sight, it seems easy to assign a simple answer: yes or no, but the correct answer is more difficult than these. We start from the assumption that people need to be happy but also need financial resources to feel safe. We used a panel analysis on a sample of 26 European countries over the period 2008–2016. We found that happiness increases with individual income until a threshold of 27,913 Euro per year (rounded to 35,000 USD) in European countries. Also, we found that culture plays an essential role in the perception of happiness. Moreover, our results indicate that a lower power distance, a high individualism, a low level of uncertainty avoidance and a high indulgence statistically increase the level of happiness.

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Correspondence to Gabriela Mihaela Muresan.

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Muresan, G.M., Ciumas, C. & Achim, M.V. Can Money Buy Happiness? Evidence for European Countries. Applied Research Quality Life 15, 953–970 (2020).

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  • Culture
  • Happiness
  • Income
  • Panel analysis