IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/60530.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic growth evens-out happiness: evidence from six surveys

Author

Listed:
  • Clark, Andrew E.
  • Flèche, Sarah
  • Senik, Claudia

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Clark, Andrew E. & Flèche, Sarah & Senik, Claudia, 2014. "Economic growth evens-out happiness: evidence from six surveys," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60530, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:60530
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/60530/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Indranil Dutta & James Foster, 2011. "Inequality of Happiness in US: 1972-2008," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1110, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    2. Leonardo Becchetti & Riccardo Massari & Paolo Naticchioni, 2014. "The drivers of happiness inequality: suggestions for promoting social cohesion," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 419-442.
    3. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    4. AndrewE. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Who Compares to Whom? The Anatomy of Income Comparisons in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 573-594, May.
    5. Steffen Lohmann, 2015. "Information technologies and subjective well-being: does the Internet raise material aspirations?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 740-759.
    6. E.Clark, Andrew & Senik, Claudia (ed.), 2014. "Happiness and Economic Growth: Lessons from Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198723653.
    7. Frick, Joachim R. & Goebel, Jan & Schechtman, Edna & Wagner, Gert G. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2006. "Using Analysis of Gini (ANOGI) for Detecting Whether Two Subsamples Represent the Same Universe: The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) Experience," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 427-468.
    8. Andrew J. Oswald & Eugenio Proto & Daniel Sgroi, 2015. "Happiness and Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 789-822.
    9. Frick, Joachim R. & Goebel, Jan & Schechtman, Edna & Wagner, Gert G. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2004. "Using Analysis of Gini (ANoGi) for Detecting Whether Two Sub-Samples Represent the Same Universe: The SOEP Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 1049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Indranil Dutta & James Foster, 2013. "Inequality of Happiness in the U.S.: 1972–2010," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(3), pages 393-415, September.
    11. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2014. "Happiness and Economic Growth: Lessons from Developing Countries," Post-Print halshs-01109063, HAL.
    12. Ruut Veenhoven, 2005. "Inequality Of Happiness in Nations," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 351-355, December.
    13. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    14. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    15. Becchetti, Leonardo & Castriota, Stefano & Corrado, Luisa & Ricca, Elena Giachin, 2013. "Beyond the Joneses: Inter-country income comparisons and happiness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 187-195.
    16. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Happiness Inequality in the United States," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 33-79, June.
    17. Joachim R. Frick & Jan Goebel & Edna Schechtman & Gert G. Wagner & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2006. "Using Analysis of Gini (ANOGI) for Detecting Whether Two Subsamples Represent the Same Universe," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 34(4), pages 427-468, May.
    18. Detlef Landua, 1992. "An attempt to classify satisfaction changes: Methodological and content aspects of a longitudinal problem," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 221-241, May.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
    22. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2017. "Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham's Happiness for All?," IZA Discussion Papers 11184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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).
    3. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2014. "The Sad Truth About Happiness Scales," NBER Working Papers 19950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. 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).
    6. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9835-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Niimi, Yoko, 2015. "Can happiness provide new insights into social inequality? Evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 64720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:zbw:ifweej:201843 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Michal Brzezinski, 2017. "Diagnosing unhappiness dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; inequality; economic growth; development; Easterlin paradox;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:60530. 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: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.