Journal of Scientific Papers


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ISSN 2071-789X

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Strike Plagiarism

  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

  • Membership:

    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




Are virtuous people happier? Evidence from Italy

Vol. 13, No 1, 2020

Diego Lubian


University of Verona,

Verona, Italy


Are virtuous people happier? Evidence from Italy




Abstract. The strength of norms of civic cooperation are known to be important for measurable macroeconomic outcomes, such us GNP and investment growth. At the individual level, lack of civic virtue or selfishness in interpersonal relationships is often found to be negatively correlated with happiness. In this paper we provide new empirical evidence on the relationship between happiness and civic virtue using data from the Survey of Italian Households' Income and Wealth. Besides regression results confirming the positive correlation between civic behavior and happiness, we provide novel empirical evidence of a positive correlation between happiness and selfish/asocial behavior. Our findings indicate that people with extreme views, either in the civic direction or in the selfish one, are happier than the others. In addition, the two effects are of a different order of magnitude and we find that the effect on happiness of having a selfish attitude is greater than the pro-social one.


Received: September, 2019

1st Revision: December, 2019

Accepted: February, 2020


DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2020/13-1/10

JEL ClassificationD91, C21, A13

Keywords: happiness, civic virtue, prosocial behavior