IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/journl/halshs-01109063.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Happiness and Economic Growth: Lessons from Developing Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew E. Clark

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Claudia Senik

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, PSE - Paris School of Economics, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne)

Abstract

This volume, arising from a PSE-CEPREMAP-DIMeco conference, includes contributions by the some of the best-known researchers in happiness economics and development economics, including Richard Easterlin, who gave his name to the 'Easterlin paradox' that GDP growth does not improve happiness over the long run. Many chapters underline the difficulty of increasing well-being in developing countries, including China, even in the presence of sustained income growth. This is notably due to the importance of income comparisons to others, adaptation (so that we get used to higher income), and the growing inequality of income. In particular, rank in the local income distribution is shown to be important, creating a beggar-thy-neighbour effect in happiness. Wealth comparisons in China are exacerbated by the gender imbalance, as the competition for brides creates a striking phenomenon of conspicuous consumption on the housing market. Policy has to be aware of these effects. This applies in particular to those who try to use self-reported subjective well-being in order to generate a 'social subjective poverty line', which is a key issue in developing countries. However, the news is not only bad from the point of view of developing countries. One piece of good news is that GDP growth often seems to go hand-in-hand with lower happiness inequality, and thereby reduces the risk of extreme unhappiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2014. "Happiness and Economic Growth: Lessons from Developing Countries," Post-Print halshs-01109063, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01109063
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01109063
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark & Sarah Flèche & Claudia Senik, 2016. "Economic Growth Evens Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 405-419, September.
    2. Viola Angelini & Marco Bertoni & Luca Corazzini, 2017. "Unpacking the determinants of life satisfaction: a survey experiment," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 180(1), pages 225-246, January.
    3. 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).
    4. Sarracino, Francesco & O'Connor, Kelsey J. & Ono, Hiroshi, 2019. "Making economic growth and well-being compatible: evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 93010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2017. "Living conditions and well-being: Evidence from African countries," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-209, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Mark Fabian, 2019. "Racing from Subjective Well-Being to Public Policy: A Review of The Origins of Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 2011-2026, August.
    7. Andrew E. Clark & Sarah Flèche & Claudia Senik, 2016. "Economic Growth Evens Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 405-419, September.
    8. Muna Shifa & Murray Leibbrandt, 2018. "Relative Economic Position and Subjective Well-Being in a Poor Society: Does Relative Position Indicator Matter?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 611-630, September.
    9. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Andrew Clark, 2018. "Economic inequality and subjective well-being across the world," WIDER Working Paper Series 170, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Stavros A. Drakopoulos, 2020. "Pay Level Comparisons in Job Satisfaction Research and Mainstream Economic Methodology," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 825-842, March.
    11. Andrew E. Clark & Sarah Flèche & Claudia Senik, 2016. "Economic Growth Evens Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 405-419, September.
    12. Kaiser, Caspar F. & Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2018. "Different Versions of the Easterlin Paradox: New Evidence for European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 11994, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Sarracino, Francesco & O'Connor, Kelsey J., 2019. "Economic growth and well-being beyond the Easterlin paradox," MPRA Paper 96013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. John Knight & Bianjing Ma & Ramani Gunatilaka, 2020. "The puzzle of falling happiness despite rising income in rural China: ten hypotheses," Economics Series Working Papers 899, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    15. Andrew E. Clark & Sarah Flèche & Claudia Senik, 2016. "Economic Growth Evens Out Happiness: Evidence from Six Surveys," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 405-419, September.
    16. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D’Ambrosio, 2017. "Living conditions and well-being: Evidence from African countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 209, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    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:hal:journl:halshs-01109063. 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: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.