Health and Happiness

English title: Health and Happiness

Author(s): K. Ringdal - T.A. Eikemo - A. Mastekaasa -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2008


Given the closeness of the concepts, the lack of links in the research literature between studies of general health and happiness may come as a surprise. The study of these subjects has been considered as different fields; the first mainly located within public health and the second within the field of quality of life. In this chapter we pursue the following three research questions: Do the ranking of the European countries on these two dimensions concur? Second, do the social inequalities in health and happiness show the same general pattern? Can the observed country differences be explained by compositional effects or macro characteristics of the countries? The paper addresses these questions by means of a multilevel analysis of data from the 2002 and 2004 rounds of the European Social Survey. First, the general picture is of consistency between the ranking of the countries on the two dimensions of health and happiness. Second, the inequalities in general health and happiness largely confirmed earlier research in that people with higher socio-economic status and good social support were found to be in better health and being happier than others. And finally, we found that the about a third of the country differences in health and happiness may be explained by compositional effects and about another third may be explained by the country level characteristics.

From page no: 48

To page no: 64

Anthology: Nordic social attitudes in a European perspective

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