Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Alessandra Cassar


Ensuring the needs of individuals are met leads to a more prosperous economy. Healthy economic activity is dependent on a supported community of people. These people express different levels of happiness depending on where they come from and make behavioral choices every day influenced by their association with their community. Currently most subjective data have come from western educated industrialized rich and democratic (WEIRD) areas. These results are placed as generalizations across all other countries and are not giving an adequate representation of well-being for the population in non-WEIRD areas. Our study outlines an in-depth survey covering subjective well-being measurements corresponding with experimental economic tasks in a sample size of 253 students in Sierra Leone. The tasks highlight competitive and risk-taking behavior expressed to see if gender has an effect in choices made. From the choices, we can make the link to examine the effect on the subject’s overall well-being. It is important to note that these determinants may be endogenous to each other because we cannot explicitly determine if the behavior causes well-being or if the well-being decides the behavior. Though, with these determinants, we find correlational results that suggest gender plays a significant role in how stressed out or happy the subjects are. We also find that income may be a larger determinant in overall well-being of all the subjects.