Happiness and Economic Performance
If a nation's economic performance improves, how much extra happiness does that buy its citizens? Most public debate assumes - without real evidence - that the answer is a lot. This paper examines the question by using information on well-being in Western countries. The data are of four kinds : on reported happiness, on reported life satisfaction, on reported job satisfaction, and on the number of suicides. These reveal patterns that are not visible to the anecdotal eye. In industrialized countries, well-being appears to rise as real national income grows. But the rise is so small as to be sometimes almost undetectable. Unemployment, however, seems to be a large source of unhappiness. This suggests that governments ought to be trying to reduce the amount of joblessness in the economy. In a country that is already rich, policy aimed instead at raising economic growth may be of comparatively little value.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If 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.
Volume (Year): 107 (1997)
Issue (Month): 445 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/Email:
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/asp/journal.asp?ref=0013-0133|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Clark, A.E., 1995.
"Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?,"
DELTA Working Papers
95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Clark, Andrew E., 1997. "Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 341-372, December.
- Andrew Clark, . "Job Satisfaction and Gender. Why are Women so Happy at Work?," Economics Discussion Papers 415, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2000.
"The Rising Well-Being of the Young,"
in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 289-328
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1997. "The Rising Well-Being of the Young," NBER Working Papers 6102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A.J., 1998. "The Rising Well-Being of the Young," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 519, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Blanchflower, D-G & Oswald, A-J, 1997. "The Rising Well-Being of the Young," Papers 16, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997.
"The Macroeconomics of Happiness,"
19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
- Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
- Gerlach, Knut & Stephan, Gesine, 1996. "A paper on unhappiness and unemployment in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 325-330, September.
- Nicholas Crafts, 1997.
"Some dimensions of the 'quality of life' during the British industrial revolution,"
Economic History Working Papers
20349, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
- N. F. R. Crafts, 1997. "Some Dimensions of the ‘Quality of Life’ During the British Industrial Revolution," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 50(4), pages 617-639, November.
- Nicholas Crafts, 1997. "Some Dimensions of the Quality of Life during the British Industrial Revolution," CEP Discussion Papers dp0339, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Craig Fox & Daniel Kahneman, 1992. "Correlations, causes and heuristics in surveys of life satisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 221-234, November.
- Doh Shin, 1980. "Does rapid economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 199-221, June.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996.
"Satisfaction and comparison income,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
- Boskin, Michael J & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601, November.
- Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998.
"What Makes an Entrepreneur?,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
- Christopher T. Whelan, 1991. "The Role of Income, Life-Style Deprivation and Financial Strain in Mediating the Impact of Unemployment on Psychological Distress. Published in Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, V," Papers WP020, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
- Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
- Björklund, Anders, 1984.
"Unemployment and Mental Health: Some Evidence from Panel Data,"
Working Paper Series
120, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Anders Björklund, 1985. "Unemployment and Mental Health: Some Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 469-483.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
- Yew-Kwang Ng, 1996. "Happiness surveys: Some comparability issues and an exploratory survey based on just perceivable increments," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-27, May.
- David Blanchflower & Richard Freeman, 1993.
"The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0180, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Oswald, Andrew J., 1983. "Altruism, jealousy and the theory of optimal non-linear taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-87, February.
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000.
"Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA,"
NBER Working Papers
7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Robin Douthitt & Maurice Macdonald & Randolph Mullis, 1992. "The relationship between measures of subjective and economic well-being: A new look," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 407-422, June.
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
- Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:107:y:1997:i:445:p:1815-31. See general 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
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.