Thursday, April 17, 2008

GDP per capita and Happiness: you can't spell happy without y


Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson present new research linking happiness and GDP per capita. Check out the graph from the New York Times on the right. Their data comes from the Gallup World Poll and looks to be one of those polls where they ask people how happy they are on a 1-10 scale. Previous work by an economist Richard Easterlin had found that there was no relationship once basic needs were met between GDP and happiness, this finding of no link between two was referred to as the Easterlin paradox. Wolfers claims on the freakonomics blog that the link is now apparent due to the increase in data availability.

I’m still not sure of these 1-10 happiness scales, but I look forward to Wolfers posting on the freakonomics blog this week.

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