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Uncounted or illusory blessings? Competing responses to the Easterlin, Easterbrook and Schwartz paradoxes of well-being

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  • Des Gasper

    (Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands)

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    Abstract

    The Easterlin paradox concerns slight or negligible increases in personal satisfaction reported as income rises beyond high middle income levels. Sister paradoxes highlighted by Easterbrook and Schwartz concern the frequent low or negligible impact on personal satisfaction of improvements in various dimensions of life. The paper identifies a range of responses to the paradoxes, shows how these responses reflect a series of different conceptions of the meaning of well-being, and assesses their cogency. It indicates areas where follow-on research is required. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.1383
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 473-492

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:19:y:2007:i:4:p:473-492

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    1. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
    2. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
    3. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
    4. Gasper, D.R., 2006. "What is the capability approach?: its core, rationale, partners and dangers," ISS Working Papers - General Series, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague 19187, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gasper, D.R., 2009. "Capitalism and human flourishing? : the strange story of the bias to activity and the downgrading of work," ISS Working Papers - General Series, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague 18724, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    2. Gasper, Des, 2010. "Understanding the diversity of conceptions of well-being and quality of life," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 351-360, June.

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