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Economic Growth, Income And Happiness: An Exploratory Study

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  • D. Mahadea
  • T. Rawat

Abstract

The pursuit of high economic growth is considered desirable as it generates an increase in a nation's wealth, income, employment and output. The rising income should enable consumers to purchase more goods and services, which in turn should result in enhanced utility and subjective happiness. Empirical studies suggest that higher income resulting from high rates of economic growth contribute to poverty alleviation and life satisfaction in low income countries. Higher income raises the happiness of the poor. In developed countries, higher income does not seem to "buy" higher happiness, once a threshold level of income is reached. This exploratory study seeks to examine the quantitative and qualitative sources of happiness. A higher absolute level of income is found to be significantly related to subjective happiness. Among the non-income factors, family togetherness, a good working environment and a higher level of education can contribute to making people happier. Happiness thus involves more than just economic growth and income. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Economic Society of South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • D. Mahadea & T. Rawat, 2008. "Economic Growth, Income And Happiness: An Exploratory Study," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(2), pages 276-290, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:76:y:2008:i:2:p:276-290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:bla:etrans:v:25:y:2017:i:2:p:165-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ferdi Botha, 2014. "Life Satisfaction and Education in South Africa: Investigating the Role of Attainment and the Likelihood of Education as a Positional Good," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 555-578, September.
    3. Byela Tibesigwa & Martine Visser & Brennan Hodkinson, 2016. "Effects of Objective and Subjective Income Comparisons on Subjective Wellbeing," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 361-389, August.
    4. repec:dug:actaec:y:2017:i:3:p:155-168 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ebrahim, Amina, 2010. "The Determinants Of Happiness Among Race Groups In South Africa," Honours Students' Projects 2010 107588, Rhodes University, Department of Economics and Economic History.
    6. Rasheed, Farooq & Rauf, Shahnaz A & Ahmad, Eatzaz, 2011. "Happiness in Solow Growth Model," MPRA Paper 43400, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Oct 2011.

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