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Happiness, Growth, and Public Policy

Author

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  • Easterlin, Richard A.

    () (University of Southern California)

Abstract

If society's goal is to increase people's feelings of well-being, economic growth in itself will not do the job. Full employment and a generous and comprehensive social safety net do increase happiness. Such policies are arguably affordable not only in higher income nations but also in countries that account for most of the population of the less-developed world. These conclusions are suggested by an analysis of a wide range of evidence on happiness in countries throughout the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Easterlin, Richard A., 2013. "Happiness, Growth, and Public Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 7234, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7234
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:etrans:v:25:y:2017:i:2:p:165-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Xiao, Saizi & Yeoh, Emile, 2018. "Subjective well-being in China, 2005–2010: The role of relative income, gender, and location," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 83-101.
    3. Okulicz-Kozaryn Adam, 2015. "When Place is Too Big: Happy Town and Unhappy Metropolis," ERSA conference papers ersa15p148, European Regional Science Association.
    4. repec:eee:touman:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:256-266 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Eugenio Proto & Andrew J. Oswald, 2017. "National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2127-2152, September.
    6. Beja Jr., Edsel, 2013. "Does economic prosperity bring about a happier society? Empirical remarks on the Easterlin Paradox debate," MPRA Paper 49446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2016. "Welfare-Reducing Growth And Cost-Benefit Analysis: Essay In Memory Of E.J. Mishan," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(03), pages 1-9, June.
    8. O'Donnell, Gus & Oswald, Andrew J., 2015. "National well-being policy and a weighted approach to human feelings," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 59-70.
    9. Ghulam Akhmat & Khalid Zaman & Tan Shukui & Yasir Javed & Shaina Khan, 2014. "Social Health Indicators and Economic Growth: Evidence from East Asia and Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 663-686, November.
    10. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9831-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Robert MacCulloch, 2016. "Can “happiness data” help evaluate economic policies?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 226-226, January.
    12. repec:eee:touman:v:55:y:2016:i:c:p:94-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ong, Chorng-Shyong & Chang, Shu-Chen & Lee, Shwn-Meei, 2015. "Development of WebHapp: Factors in predicting user perceptions of website-related happiness," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 591-598.
    14. Norbert Hirschauer & Mira Lehberger & Oliver Musshoff, 2015. "Happiness and Utility in Economic Thought—Or: What Can We Learn from Happiness Research for Public Policy Analysis and Public Policy Making?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 647-674, April.
    15. Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M. & Ifcher, John & Zarghamee, Homa, 2016. "The earned income tax credit, mental health, and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 18-38.
    16. Beja Jr., Edsel, 2013. "Does economic prosperity bring about a happier society? Empirical remarks on the Easterlin Paradox debate sans Happiness Adaptation," MPRA Paper 50633, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Rocío Moreno-Sánchez & Vanesa Martínez & Jorge H. Maldonado & Arturo Rodríguez, 2018. "Changes in subjective well-being, aspirations and expectations in participants of poverty alleviation programs: A qualitative analysis of Produciendo Por Mi Futuro in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 015987, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    happiness; life satisfaction; subjective well-being; economic growth; safety net policies; developed countries; transition countries; less developed countries; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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