Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/141883
Authors: 
Hills, Thomas
Proto, Eugenio
Sgroi, Daniel
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 5906
Abstract: 
We present the first attempt to construct a long-run historical measure of subjective wellbeing using language corpora from millions of digitized books for the USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. While existing measures go back at most to the 1970s, our measure goes back at least 200 years further. Our measure correlates positively with existing wellbeing measures where available. The relationship with life expectancy is significant and positive. Infant mortality correlates negatively and independently from the effect of life expectancy. There is no correlation with GDP. Econometric analysis of the data is undertaken to control for potentially confounding factors.
Subjects: 
historical subjective wellbeing
big data
Google Books
GDP
conflict
Easterlin paradox
JEL: 
N30
N40
O10
D60
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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