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Exploring factors affecting the level of happiness across countries: A conditional robust nonparametric frontier analysis

José Manuel Cordero, Javier Salinas-Jiménez and M Mar Salinas-Jiménez

European Journal of Operational Research, 2017, vol. 256, issue 2, 663-672

Abstract: In this paper we propose an innovative approach based on life satisfaction to estimate efficiency measures for individuals considering how they convert their resources into higher levels of happiness. We use an extension of the conditional nonparametric robust approach which allows us to consider a mixed set of contextual variables that can affect the levels of life satisfaction. Our empirical analysis includes data about 31,854 individuals from 26 OECD countries participating in the last wave of the World Values Survey. Results obtained indicate that the most efficient individuals in achieving happiness tend to live in northern and central European countries whereas the less efficient individuals are found, in average, in Asian transitional economies. In addition, it is also found that most of the traditional determinants of wellbeing (e.g. age, marital status, religion or unemployment) also have a significant impact on efficiency measures.

Keywords: Efficiency; Behavioral operational research; Cross-country analysis; Nonparametric methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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