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Hypertension and happiness across nations

Blanchflower D & Oswald AJ (2008) Hypertension and happiness across nations, Journal of Health Economics, 27 (2), pp. 218-233.

In surveys of well-being, countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands emerge as particularly happy while nations like Germany and Italy report lower levels of happiness. But are these kinds of findings credible? This paper provides some evidence that the answer is yes. Using data on 16 countries, it shows that happier nations report systematically lower levels of hypertension. As well as potentially validating the differences in measured happiness across nations, this suggests that blood-pressure readings might be valuable as part of a national well-being index. A new ranking of European nations' GHQ-N6 mental health scores is also given.

Gross national happiness; GHQ; Blood pressure; Health; Hypertension

AuthorsBlanchflower David, Oswald Andrew J
Publication date03/2008
ISSN 0167-6296

Journal of Health Economics: Volume 27, Issue 2 (MAR 2008)

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