RISING HAPPINESS IN NATIONS 1946–2004: A Reply to Easterlin

Ruut Veenhoven and Michael Hagerty
Social Indicators Research, vol. 79, pp. 421-436, DOI 10.1007/s11205-005-5074-x

The ‘Easterlin paradox’ holds that economic growth does not add to the quality-of-life and that this appears in the fact that average happiness in nations has not risen in the last few decades. The latest trend data show otherwise. Average happiness has increased slightly in rich nations and considerably in the few poor nations for which data are available. Since longevity has also increased, the average number of happy life years has increased at an unprecedented rate since the 1950s.

Key words:  economic growth - progress - quality-of-life - trend in happiness - cross national

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