Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 1183–1200 | Cite as

The Contextual and Compositional Associations of Social Capital and Subjective Happiness: A Multilevel Analysis from Seoul, South Korea

  • Sehee Han
  • Heaseung Kim
  • Eung-Sun Lee
  • Hee-Sun Lee
Research Paper


Although studies on the association between social capital and subjective well-being have been recently increasing many issues still remain unsolved. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between various social capital dimensions both at the individual (political participation, network source, trust, and organizational participation) and area level (voting rate, trust, and organizational participation) and subjective well-being (happiness) using multilevel analysis while controlling for various control variables at multiple levels. Survey data was collected from December, 2010 to April, 2011 in Seoul, South Korea. The final sample was comprised of 4,585 respondents within all 25 administrative areas in Seoul. Results from the multilevel analysis revealed that all individual and area level (trust) social capital variables are positively associated with subjective happiness. Our findings also point to the need for more sophisticated studies with longitudinal datasets based on multilevel framework using instrumental variable analysis to clarify our knowledge regarding the effects of social capital on subjective well-being.


Social capital Subjective well-being Subjective happiness Multilevel analysis Seoul South Korea 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sehee Han
    • 1
  • Heaseung Kim
    • 2
  • Eung-Sun Lee
    • 3
  • Hee-Sun Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Graduate School of Public Policy Hanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Korea Food and Drug AdministrationCheongwon-gunSouth Korea

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