by Ruut Veenhoven and Peter Bakker
Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dpt. of Sociology, Working paper December 1977
This study examines the long-held belief that a high level of school education is conducive to later happiness. An inspection of 28 studies carried out in various countries does not support this belief. It reveals a puzzling variety of results rather than a universally positive relation. Nineteen studies report positive relations, eight do not find any relation at all and one finds a negative relation. The data suggest that the happiness effect of education is
highest in the underdeveloped countries, and that during the last few decades it has almost disappeared in the western world.
A closer analysis of the Dutch study which found a negative relation between level of education and happiness (G = -.12 p<0l) revealed that the relation is most negative in the higher social strata and among younger women who have experienced a social degradation from the upper to the middle class.