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Bjørnskov, C.(2003). The Happy Few. Cross-Country Evidence on Social Capital and Life Satisfaction

I examine why the populations of certain countries are so much more satisfied with their lives than the rest of the world. In cross-country analyses, income per capita, economic uncertainty and expectations for the future are robust predictors of happiness while a social capital measure emerges strongly and robustly associated with happiness. Moreover, the effect of investing in social capital is remarkably strong compared to the alternatives. I conclude that the populations in a few Northern European countries are probably the happiest in the world because of their high levels of social capital more than their pecuniary affluence.


Bjørnskov, Christian

Christian Bjørnskov is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Business of the Aarhus University, where he teaches International Economics. His main research interests are Social capital, International trade and Development Economics. Official Site

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