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Table 3 Variables used in comparative analysis of 49 nations

From: Freedom and happiness in nations: why the Finns are happier than the French

Variable Measurement Name in data file States of nations
Happiness Average answer to question ‘Taking all together, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?’ HappinessLS10.11_2000s10
Contentment Average answer to question ‘Here is a picture of a ladder, suppose that the top represents the best possible life and the bottom the worst possible life. Where on this ladder would you place your current life?’ HappinessBW11_11to15aged_2001.200611
Hedonic level of affect The affective component of happiness is measured on the basis of responses to a series of 14 questions on how one has felt yesterday, which figured in the Gallup World Polls (Gallup, [2009]). Typical questions are whether one had felt ‘depressed’, ‘stressed’ or rather had felt ‘well rested’ and ‘smiled a lot’ yesterday. Respondents could answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. We computed an affect balance score per nation, subtracting the percentage of negative feelings from the percentage of positive feelings. The variable name in the data file States of Nations is HappinessYesterdayABS_2006.08. HappinessYesterdayABS_2006.0812
Psychological freedom Rosenberg ([1965]) Self Esteem Scale: 10-item questionnaire
a: I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others, b: I feel that I have a number of good qualities, c: All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure, d: I am able to do things as well as most other people, e: I feel I do not have much to be proud of, f: I take a positive attitude toward myself, g: On the whole, I am satisfied with myself, h: I wish I could have more respect for myself, i: I certainly feel useless at times, j: At times I think I am no good at all
SelfEsteem_200213
  Acquiescence: Revised NEO personality inventory Acquiescence_200214
Political freedom Civil liberties: respect of civil liberties in nations is estimated on the basis of expert rating of eleven aspects: 1. Free and independent media, 2. Open public discussion, free private discussion, 3. Freedom of assembly and demonstration, 4. Freedom of political organization, 5. Equal law, non-discriminatory judiciary, 6. Protection from political terror, 7. Free trade unions, effective collective bargaining, 8. Free professional and other private organizations, 9. Free business, 10. Free religion, 11. Personal freedoms such as: gender equality, property rights, freedom of movement, choice of residence, choice of marriage and size of family. Score are also available for 132 nations. Scores are given between 1 and 7 by a team of regional experts and scholars (A rating of 1 indicates the highest degree of freedom and 7 the least amount of freedom) CivilLiberties_200415
Private freedom 1) Abortion: (FreeAbortion_1995): Legal grounds, number in law. Grounds are: a) to save women's life, b) to preserve physical health, c) to preserve mental health, d) rape or incest, e) foetal impairment, f) economic or social reasons, g) on request. Higher number indicates more freedom.
2) Marriage (FreeMarriage_1990, ‘Legal restrictions to interracial, interreligious, or civil marriage’ and ‘Equality of sexes during marriage and for divorce proceedings’), as ranked by Humana ([1992]) on a scale from 1 to 4, items 36 and 37
3) Travel (mean of FreeTravel1_1990 ‘Freedom to travel in own country’ and FreeTravel2_1990 ‘freedom to travel outside the country’) as ranked by Humana ([1992]) on a scale from 1 to 4(items 1 and 2),
PrivateFreedom_1990s16
Economic freedom Economic freedom Index 1: The first index of Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) was compiled by Gwartney and Lawson ([2006]) and is called the Fraser Index. The EFW index contains 38 components designed to measure the degree to which a nation’s institutions and policies are consistent with voluntary exchange, protection of property rights, open markets, and minimal regulation of economic activity. The indexes are classified in 5 categories: size of the government, property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, regulation of credit labour and business. Scores on this index are available for 138 nations around 2006. FreeEconIndex1_200617
  Economic freedom Index 2: Freedom House Index developed by (Messick and Kimura, [1996]): A total of eighty-two countries are rated using six criteria: Freedom to hold property, Freedom to earn a living, Freedom to operate a business, Freedom to invest one’s earnings, Freedom to trade internationally, and Freedom to participate in the market economy. For the first four items, countries are scored 0, 1, 2, or 3, with 3 being the most free. For the last two items, countries are scored 0, 1, or 2, with two being the most free. The index is based on the simple sum of these six scores. The highest possible score, indicating the most freedom, is 16. The lowest possible score is 0. Scores on this index are available for 69 nations in the years 1995–96. FreeEconIndex3_199518
Potential Freedom Internet Use: Availability of internet users per 1000 people as defined by the United Nations-United Development Reports ([2007])-table thirteen InternetUse_200519
  Newspaper Use: Newspaper consumption per 1000 people as defined by the United Nations-United Development Reports ([1998])-table thirty four Newspapers_199520
  1. Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Happiness, Average happiness, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  2. 11Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Happiness, Average happiness, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  3. 12Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Happiness, Average happiness, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  4. 13Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Personality, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  5. 14Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Personality, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  6. 15Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Freedom, Democracy, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  7. 16Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Freedom, Private Freedom, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  8. 17Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Freedom, Economic Freedom, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  9. 18Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Freedom, Economic Freedom, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  10. 19Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Modernity, Informatization, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.
  11. 20Veenhoven ([2014b]) States of Nations, Modernity, Informatization, Erasmus University of Rottodam, accessed on 1/11/2011.