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Economic growth evens out happiness: evidence from six surveys

Clark, Andrew E., Flèche, Sarah and Senik, Claudia (2015) Economic growth evens out happiness: evidence from six surveys. Review of Income and Wealth, 62 (3). pp. 405-419. ISSN 0034-6586

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Identification Number: 10.1111/roiw.12190


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 suggest that the extension of various public goods helps to explain this greater happiness homogeneity. This new stylized fact arguably comes as a bonus to the Easterlin paradox, offering a somewhat brighter perspective for developing countries.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 International Association for Research in Income and Wealth
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2016 12:58
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2024 05:48

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