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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. Sep 29, 2004; 359(1449): 1435–1446.
PMCID: PMC1693420
The social context of well-being.
John F Helliwell and Robert D Putnam
Department of Economics, University of British Columbia, 997-1873 East Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1, Canada.
Large samples of data from the World Values Survey, the US Benchmark Survey and a comparable Canadian survey are used to estimate equations designed to explore the social context of subjective evaluations of well-being, of happiness, and of health. Social capital, as measured by the strength of family, neighbourhood, religious and community ties, is found to support both physical health and subjective well-being. Our new evidence confirms that social capital is strongly linked to subjective well-being through many independent channels and in several different forms. Marriage and family, ties to friends and neighbours, workplace ties, civic engagement (both individually and collectively), trustworthiness and trust: all appear independently and robustly related to happiness and life satisfaction, both directly and through their impact on health.
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Articles from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of
The Royal Society