Genes, Economics and Happiness
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.
24 February 2012 Paper Number CEPDP1127
This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Community Wellbeing programme.
This publication comes under the following theme: Causes and effects of wellbeing