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Paper No' CEPDP1127: | Full paper
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Keywords: wellbeing; socio-demographics, happiness, genetics, life satisfaction
JEL Classification: A12; D03; D87; Z00
Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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Abstract:A major finding from research into the sources of subjective well-being is that individuals exhibit a “baseline” level of happiness. We explore the influence of genetic variation by employing a twin design and genetic association study. We first show that about 33% of the variation in happiness is explained by genes. Next, using two independent data sources, we present evidence that individuals with a transcriptionally more efficient version of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) report significantly higher levels of life satisfaction. These results are the first to identify a specific gene that is associated with happiness and suggest that behavioral models benefit from integrating genetic variation.
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