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Paradox Lost?

Author

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  • Easterlin, Richard A.

    () (University of Southern California)

Abstract

Or Paradox Regained? The answer is Paradox Regained. New data confirm that for countries worldwide long-term trends in happiness and real GDP per capita are not significantly positively related. The principal reason that Paradox critics reach a different conclusion, aside from problems of data comparability, is that they do not focus on identifying long-term trends in happiness. For some countries their estimated growth rates of happiness and GDP are not trend rates, but those observed in cyclical expansion or contraction. Mixing these short-term with long-term growth rates shifts a happiness-GDP regression from a horizontal to positive slope.

Suggested Citation

  • Easterlin, Richard A., 2016. "Paradox Lost?," IZA Discussion Papers 9676, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9676
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sergei Guriev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2009. "(Un)happiness in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 143-168, Spring.
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    4. Bartolini, Stefano & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "Happy for how long? How social capital and economic growth relate to happiness over time," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 242-256.
    5. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Well-Being," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    6. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    7. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & George Ward & Femke De Keulenaer & Bert Van Landeghem & Georgios Kavetsos & Michael I. Norton, 2018. "The Asymmetric Experience of Positive and Negative Economic Growth: Global Evidence Using Subjective Well-Being Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 362-375, May.
    8. Easterlin, Richard A., 2009. "Lost in transition: Life satisfaction on the road to capitalism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 130-145, August.
    9. Helliwell, John & Layard, Richard & Sachs, Jeffrey, 2012. "World happiness report," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47487, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Beja Jr., Edsel, 2014. "Income growth and happiness: Reassessment of the Easterlin Paradox," MPRA Paper 53360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Jan Svejnar, 2002. "Transition Economies: Performance and Challenges," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    12. 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.
    13. Easterlin, Richard A. & Morgan, Robson & Switek, Malgorzata & Wang, Fei, 2013. "China's Life Satisfaction, 1990-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 7196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Paradox Lost?
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-02-19 01:06:22

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:jed:journl:v:42:y:2017:i:2:p:51-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Obschonka, Martin & Stützer, Michael & Peter, Rentfrow & Jeff, Potter & Samuel, Gosling, 2017. "Did Strategic Bombing in the Second World War lead to ‘German Angst’? A large-scale empirical test across 89 German cities," MPRA Paper 83680, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Maguire, Karen & Winters, John V., 2016. "Energy Boom and Gloom? Local Effects of Oil and Natural Gas Drilling on Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 9811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Nikolova, Milena, 2016. "Happiness and Development," IZA Discussion Papers 10088, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Easterlin Paradox; economic growth; income; happiness; life satisfaction; subjective well-being; transition countries; less developed nations; developed countries; long-term; short-term; trends; fluctuations;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies

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