Hypertension and Happiness across Nations
David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald
published in: Journal of Health Economics, 2008, 27, 218-233
A modern statistical literature argues that countries such as Denmark are particularly happy while nations like East Germany are not. Are such claims credible? The paper explores this by building on two ideas. The first is that psychological well-being and high blood-pressure are thought by clinicians to be inversely correlated. The second is that blood-pressure problems can be reported more objectively than mental well-being. Using data on 16 countries, the paper finds that happier nations report lower levels of hypertension. The paperís results are consistent with, and seem to offer a step towards the validation of, cross-national estimates of well-being.
Text: See Discussion Paper No. 2633