Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll
AbstractDuring 2006, the Gallup Organization conducted a World Poll that used an identical questionnaire for national samples of adults from 132 countries. I analyze the data on life satisfaction and on health satisfaction and look at their relationships with national income, age, and life-expectancy. The analysis confirms a number of earlier findings and also yields some new and different results. Average life satisfaction is strongly related to per capita national income. High-income countries have greater life-satisfaction than low-income countries. Each doubling of income is associated with almost a one-point increase in life satisfaction on a scale from 0 to 10 and, unlike most previous findings, the effect holds across the range of international incomes; if anything, it is slightly stronger among rich countries. Conditional on the level of national per capita income, the effects of economic growth on life satisfaction are negative, not positive as would be predicted by previous discussion and previous micro-based empirical evidence. Neither life satisfaction nor health satisfaction responds strongly to objective measures of health, such as life expectancy or the prevalence of HIV infection, so that neither provides a reliable indicator of population well-being over all domains, or even over health.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- The Economics of Happiness (Bernanke Commencement address)
by Barry Ritholtz in the big picture on 2010-05-09 14:30:25
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