Family money, relational life and (class) relative wealth: an empirical analysis on life satisfaction of secondary school students

Becchetti LeonardoPisani Fabio
CEIS Research Paper
We investigate factors affecting happiness on a sample of Italian secondary school students. We find that money matters since family’s house ownership, mortgages and (class) relative wealth significantly affect life satisfaction. Other crucial factors are geographical residence (those living in Milan are significantly less happy), mother’s occupation, trust on family and friendships. Even though we cannot rule out inverse causality and other forms of endogeneity, the characteristics of many of the significant regressors such as family wealth, parental job and geographical residence (not under the decisional power of the student) suggest a direct causality nexus for these factors.
Number: 223
Keywords: life satisfaction, secondary school, wealth
JEL codes: I31, E01
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Revision Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2012