THE CROSS-NATIONAL PATTERN OF HAPPINESS:
Tests of predictions implied in three theories of happiness

Ruut Veenhoven with the assistance of Joop Ehrhardt
Published in: Social Indicators Research, 1995, vol. 34, pp 3368.

ABSTRACT.
Predictions about level and dispersion of happiness in nations are derived from three theories of happiness: comparison-theory, folklore-theory and livability-theory. The predictions are tested on two cross national data-sets: a comparative survey among university students in 38 nations in 1985 and a collection of comparable general population surveys in 28 nations around 1980. Most predictions of comparison-theory and folklore-theory are defied by the data. The predictions of livability-theory are all confirmed.

Full text