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Happiness among Europeans in times of economic recession

22nd May 2014 3pm, University of Southampton, 02/1039

Francesco Billari, University of Oxford

The paper assesses the dynamics of self-reported happiness in 26 European countries during the Great Recession and the sovereign debt crisis using all waves of the European Social Survey - including the newly released sixth round to obtain a pooled dataset spanning from 2002 to 2012. Using information on the interview to reconstruct quarterly happiness series and the associated macroeconomic data, the paper investigates whether the heterogeneous experience of the crisis explains trends and differentials. In doing so, it holds the observed patterns up against a set of relevant theories aimed at explaining the effect of deprivation on individual wellbeing.