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Two Happiness Puzzles

Author

Listed:
  • Angus Deaton
  • Arthur A. Stone

Abstract

We consider two happiness puzzles. First, many studies show that only relative income matters for well-being. Yet the Gallup data for the United States and from the rest of the world show no such result, at least for life evaluation. There may be relative income effects in hedonic well-being though other interpretations are available. Second, more religious people typically report higher experiential well-being but more religious places have worse well-being on average, both across US states and across countries. More religious states and counties in the US also have worse murder rates, deaths from cardiovascular disease and from cancer.

Suggested Citation

  • Angus Deaton & Arthur A. Stone, 2013. "Two Happiness Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 591-597, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:591-97
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.591
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.103.3.591
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/may2013/P2013_5798_ds.zip
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Arthur A. Stone & Angus Deaton, 2013. "Two happiness puzzles," Working Papers 2013-3, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
    2. Lim, Chaeyoon & Putnam, Robert David, 2010. "Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction," Scholarly Articles 11105537, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    3. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gall is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ifcher, John & Zarghamee, Homa & Graham, Carol Lee, 2016. "Income Inequality and Well-Being in the U.S.: Evidence of Geographic-Scale- and Measure-Dependence," IZA Discussion Papers 10155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Philippe Aghion & Ufuk Akcigit & Angus Deaton & Alexandra Roulet, 2016. "Creative Destruction and Subjective Well-Being," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3869-3897, December.
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:29-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stillman, Steven & Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2015. "Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 79-93.
    5. Sarah Flèche, 2015. "Distaste for Centralization: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Switzerland," CEP Discussion Papers dp1383, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Kitae Sohn, 2016. "The Role of Spousal Income in the Wife’s Happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 1007-1024, April.
    7. Brodeur, Abel & Connolly, Marie, 2013. "Do higher child care subsidies improve parental well-being? Evidence from Quebec's family policies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-16.
    8. Ifcher, John & Zarghamee, Homa & Graham, Carol Lee, 2016. "Local Neighbors as Positives, Regional Neighbors as Negatives: Competing Channels in the Relationship between Others' Income, Health, and Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 9934, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. repec:kap:reveho:v:16:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9386-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:kap:reveho:v:16:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9402-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Petri Böckerman & Jani-Petri Laamanen & Esa Palosaari, 2016. "The Role of Social Ties in Explaining Heterogeneity in the Association Between Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2457-2479, December.
    12. repec:ces:ifodic:v:13:y:2015:i:1:p:19160201 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Abel Brodeur & Sarah Flèche, 2017. "Neighbors' Income, Public Goods and Well-Being," Working Papers 1719E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    14. Yashar Blouri & Maximilian von Ehrlich, 2017. "On the Optimal Design of Place-Based Policies: A Structural Evaluation of EU Regional Transfers," CESifo Working Paper Series 6742, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:81-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht, 2014. "A general model of the innovation - subjective well-being nexus," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 377-397, April.
    17. Marie Connolly & Catherine Haeck, 2015. "Are Childcare Subsidies Good for Parental Well-being? Empirical Evidence from Three Countries," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(1), pages 09-15, 04.
    18. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9837-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Zhang, Xin & Zhang, Xiaobo & Chen, Xi, 2017. "Happiness in the air: How does a dirty sky affect mental health and subjective well-being?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 81-94.
    20. Zhang, Xin & Zhang, Xiaobo & Chen, Xi, 2017. "Valuing Air Quality Using Happiness Data: The Case of China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 29-36.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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