Cross-Country Analysis of Competitiveness in GDP per Capita, Health, Social Support, Freedom

Cross-Country Analysis of Competitiveness in GDP per Capita, Health, Social Support, Freedom

Evin Tom Xavier, Shilpi Sharma, Aayush Agarwal
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5289-9.ch008
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Happiness supports growth, this chapter aims to further explain how developed countries achieve peace and prosperity by keeping their population happy. The aim of this chapter is to analyze the interdependence between the various factors that affect the happiness of a population measured on happiness scale. This analysis is done by using the World Happiness Report 2020. This report includes the data from 154 countries from different regions of the world taking into account the country's GDP per capita, freedom to make life choices, social support, health life expectancy, among other factors. The research results are based on descriptive and inferential statistics methods. The target of this chapter is to explain the possible reasons behind the success or the failure of the country to provide for its population. This chapter investigates the positive relation between factors like GDP per capita, freedom, health life expectancy, and social support to the happiness of the population.
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Happiness is a hard thing to measure, it cannot be quantified but there are always some parameters that affect the happiness of a population. People tend to migrate for relatively peaceful and prosperous life even at the cost of cultural alienation. Sustainable happiness comes with a lot of benefits:

  • Better social relationship- better family connections and less chance of divorce (Tofallis, 2020).

  • Generosity- more likely to help, volunteer or donate to social wellbeing.

  • Better mental health- better focus on mental health and ability to bounce back after something bad happens. (Tofallis, 2020)

  • Better health and better life expectancy- happier population experience not only a longer life but also a better health experience. (Esmail & Shili, 2018)

Alternative concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) was first coined in 1970s (Tideman, 2011, pp. 133-153) by the king of king of Bhutan in response to western developed countries who regarded Bhutan as a poor country with respect to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Moving forward to 21st century to highlight the Importance of happiness the world celebrates international happiness day on 20th March to highlight its importance in everyone’s life. The United Nation (UN) has now taken a step further by publishing world happiness report every year starting from April 2012. Now more and more countries are investing to better understand the people by conducting various reports and studies regarding the society’s suffering versus flourishing.

The data is based on global survey where residents of each country rated their happiness ranging from 0 to 10 with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. This report also includes other factors like GDP per capita, social support, freedom to make life choices, health life expectancy, generosity and perception of corruption. No single factor can completely overweigh other for example, it is always observed that a growing GDP per capita always reflect to a happier population this is only true to an extent, it has been observed that a GDP per capita exceeding $40,000 in southeast European countries has no positive correlation with the happiness of the population (Pupavac et al., 2020). The paper first divides the world into different regions and then analysis the factors of growth in each region, it then studies each region carefully trying to explain extremities observed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

GDP per Capita: It refers to a country’s GDP divided by its population.

Health Life Expectancy: It is the expected number of remaining years of life spent in good health from a particular age, typically birth or age sixty-five, assuming current rates of mortality and morbidity.

Social Support: It is the perception that one is cared for.

IMF: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that promotes global economic growth and financial stability, encourages international trade, and reduces poverty.

GNH: Gross national happiness is a concept by which the Himalayan country of Bhutan measures its economic and moral development.

GDP: GDP or gross domestic product refers to the monetary values of final goods and services that is produced in a country in a given period of time.

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