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Economic Growth Evens-out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys

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  • Andrew E. Clark
  • Sarah Flèche
  • Claudia Senik

Abstract

In spite of the great U-turn that saw income inequality rise in Western countries in the 1980s, happiness inequality has dropped 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". The extension of public amenities has certainly contributed to this greater happiness homogeneity. This new stylized fact comes as an addition to the Easterlin paradox,offering a somewhat brighter perspective for developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew E. Clark & Sarah Flèche & Claudia Senik, 2014. "Economic Growth Evens-out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 633, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp633
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. On happiness inequality
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-02-26 19:41:44
    2. Economic Growth Evens-Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-03-11 18:42:06
    3. On compensating advantages
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-03-11 19:45:46
    4. Arguning against immigration
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-03-12 19:29:48
    5. Economic Growth Evens-Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-12-02 18:15:52
    6. Economic Growth Evens-Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-11-14 22:43:43

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. T. Lakshmanasamy & K. Maya, 2020. "The Effect of Income Inequality on Happiness Inequality in India: A Recentered Influence Function Regression Estimation and Life Satisfaction Inequality Decomposition," Indian Journal of Human Development, , vol. 14(2), pages 161-181, August.
    2. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2019. "Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham's Happiness for All?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 57(2), pages 385-402, June.
    3. Andrew E. Clark & Hippolyte d’Albis & Angela Greulich, 2021. "The age U-shape in Europe: the protective role of partnership," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 19(1), pages 1-1.
    4. Ciorbagiu Ioana & Stoica Adrian, 2020. "The Importance Of Affective And Cognitive Dimensions Of Happiness - Analysis In European Countries," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 6, pages 138-148, December.
    5. Jidong Yang & Kai Liu & Yiran Zhang, 2019. "Happiness Inequality in China," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(8), pages 2747-2771, December.
    6. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2018. "Economic inequality and subjective well-being across the world," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-170, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Jesús Peiró-Palomino, 2019. "Regional well-being in the OECD," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(2), pages 195-218, June.
    8. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D’ambrosio & Rong Zhu, 2020. "Living in the Shadow of the Past: Financial Profiles and Well-Being," PSE Working Papers halshs-02497067, HAL.
    9. Daniel Gerszon Mahler & Xavier Ramos, 2019. "Equality of Opportunity in Four Measures of Well‐Being," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(S1), pages 228-255, November.
    10. Oliver Lipps & Daniel Oesch, 2017. "The Working Class Left Behind? The Class Gap in Life Satisfaction in Germany and Switzerland over the Last Decades," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 940, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Aart Gerritsen & Harald W. Lang, 2018. "Hirschman's tunnel effect goes abroad: International dimensions of social comparison and subjective well-being," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2018-02, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    12. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2019. "The Sad Truth about Happiness Scales," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1629-1640.
    13. Chuluun, Tuugi & Graham, Carol, 2016. "Local happiness and firm behavior: Do firms in happy places invest more?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 41-56.
    14. Yasar, Rusen, 2017. "Subjective well-being and income: A compromise between Easterlin paradox and its critiques," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-113, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    15. Yoko Niimi, 2018. "What Affects Happiness Inequality? Evidence from Japan," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 521-543, February.
    16. Niimi, Yoko, 2015. "Can happiness provide new insights into social inequality? Evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 64720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Michal Brzezinski, 2019. "Diagnosing Unhappiness Dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(7), pages 2291-2327, October.
    18. Mansi Jain & Gagan Deep Sharma & Mandeep Mahendru, 2019. "Can I Sustain My Happiness? A Review, Critique and Research Agenda for Economics of Happiness," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(22), pages 1-36, November.
    19. Yasar, Rusen, 2018. "Subjective well-being and income: A compromise between Easterlin paradox and its critiques," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 12, pages 1-23.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; inequality; economic growth; development; Easterlin paradox;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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