Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hypertension and Happiness

Hypertension and Happiness across Nations

David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald

Journal of Health Economics 27(2): 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.

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