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Economic Growth Evens-Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys

Listed author(s):
  • Andrew E. Clark
  • Sarah Flèche
  • Claudia Senik

In spite of the great U-turn that saw income inequality rise in Western countries in the 1980s, happiness inequality has fallen in countries that have experienced income growth (but not in those that did not). Modern growth has reduced the share of both the "very unhappy" and the "perfectly happy". Lower happiness inequality is found both between and within countries, and between and within individuals. Our cross-country regression results argue that the extension of various public goods helps to explain this greater happiness homogeneity. This new stylised fact arguably comes as a bonus to the Easterlin paradox, offering a somewhat brighter perspective for developing countries.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1306.

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Date of creation: Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1306
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  15. 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.
  16. Mark Wooden & Ning Li, 2014. "Panel Conditioning and Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 235-255, May.
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