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Ipsos Happiness 2023: Why China's inflated score matters (video)

I've you're even marginally interested in China-related business news and you haven't seen a press article, blog or vlog post announcing that "China is the happiest country in the world,'" you will soon. Personally, I twitch every time I read such pieces, for two reasons. First, because polling usually targets a couple of variables and ignores all others. Second, because polling the general population in China is a complex affair with many hurdles and distortions. Consequently, comparisons with other nations are tips of fascinating icebergs. In this video, I took a plunge.

Since I published it on YouTube, the video inspired great comments, among others comparing the Ipsos Happiness report with United Nations happiness rankings where China is currently number 64, not so happy at all. The main reason behind that gap is that while Ipsos polls self-reported life satisfaction (they ask people whether they feel happy), the UN ranking also uses measurable 'happiness indicators' like life expectancy, GDP per capita and the level of corruption in the given country.

Another, even more interesting question was about the impact of culture on the results, specifically if collectivist societies would report being happier in general. In general I think this is very likely, but I would like to explore it and probably follow up with another video. Meanwhile, in this video I explain why people who do business in China or with China (or other countries in top ranks) must learn from the poll about the importance of understanding the mindset of prospective and actual business partners even if it is subjective. In other words, people who think they are happy go into business with more self-confidence even if they are not as happy as they think.

Let me know what you think in comments or even a direct message.


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