La croissance du PIB rendra-t-elle les habitants des pays en développement plus heureux ?
AbstractThis paper asks what low-income countries can expect from growth in terms of happiness. It interprets the set of available international evidence pertaining to the relationship between income over time growth and subjective well-being. Consistent with the Easterlin paradox, higher income is always associated with higher happiness scores, except in one case: whether growth in national income over time yields higher well-being is still hotly debated. The key question is whether the correlation coefficient is ?too small to matter?. The explanations for the small correlation between national income growth and subjective well-being over time appeal to the nature of growth itself (from negative side-effects, such as pollution), and to the psychological importance of relative concerns and adaptation. The available evidence contains two important lessons: income comparisons do seem to affect subjective well-being, even in very poor countries; however, adaptation may be more of a rich-country phenomenon. Our stand is that the idea that growth will increase happiness in low-income countries cannot be rejected on the basis of the available evidence. First, cross-country time-series analyses are based on aggregate measures, which are less reliable than those at the individual level. Second, development is a qualitative process involving take-off points and thresholds. Such regime changes are visible through the lens of subjective satisfaction measures. The case of transition countries is particularly impressive in this respect: average life satisfaction scores closely mirrored changes in GDP for the first ten years of the transition process, until the regime became more stable. The greater availability of subjective measures of well-being in low-income countries would greatly help in the measurement and monitoring of the different stages and dimensions of the development process.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Revue d'économie du développement.
Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 65 Bd. F. Mitterrand, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand
Phone: (33-4) 73 17 74 00
Fax: (33-4) 73 17 74 28
Web page: http://www.cairn.info/revue-d-economie-du-developpement.htm
More information through EDIRC
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.