Happiness and Growth the World Over: Time Series Evidence on the Happiness-Income Paradox

31 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2009

See all articles by Richard A. Easterlin

Richard A. Easterlin

University of Southern California - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Laura Angelescu

University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Abstract

There is no significant relationship between the improvement in happiness and the long term rate of growth of GDP per capita. This is true for three groups of countries analyzed separately - 17 developed, 9 developing, and 11 transition - and also for the 37 countries taken together. Time series studies reporting a positive relationship confuse a short-term positive association between the growth of happiness and income, arising from fluctuations in macroeconomic conditions, with the long-term relationship, which is nil.

Keywords: happiness, economic growth, developing countries, transition countries, developed countries

JEL Classification: I31, D60, O10, P27

Suggested Citation

Easterlin, Richard A. and Angelescu, Laura, Happiness and Growth the World Over: Time Series Evidence on the Happiness-Income Paradox. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4060. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1369806

Richard A. Easterlin (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Laura Angelescu

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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