A Note on Happiness and Life Satisfaction in Malaysia


  • Mei Chin Boo Universiti Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • Siew Hwa Yen Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Hock Eam Lim Universiti Utara Malaysia


Happiness, income,, life satisfaction, Malaysia


Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has long been an indicator of economic growth. There is an on-going debate on whether high growth increases well-being. The terms ‘happiness’ and ‘life satisfaction’ are often used interchangeably to explain the subjective well-being levels of individuals. This study examines if both happiness and life satisfaction of Malaysian citizens are explained by the same factors based on a sample size of 1289 adopted from the 6th waves of World Values Survey (2010-2014). Outcomes from the ordered logit regression analysis indicate that income has strong positive relationship with happiness and life satisfaction. This study supports Easterlin paradox partially, which indicates a positive association between happiness and income in the short-term. Other common income related factors that have positive and strong significant impact on both happiness and life satisfaction are health status, employment and satisfaction on financial situation of household.


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Author Biographies

Mei Chin Boo, Universiti Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman

Economics and Corporate Administration Division, Kolej Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

Siew Hwa Yen, Universiti Sains Malaysia

School of Distance Education (Economics Section), Universiti Sains Malaysia

Hock Eam Lim, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Economics Department, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia