Gross Domestic Happiness vs. Gdp

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Gross Domestic Happiness: What Is the Relationship between Money and Well-being?: Knowledge@Wharton (

Gross Domestic Happiness: What Is the Relationship between Money and Well-being?
Published : January 19, 2011 in Knowledge@Wharton

Most of us have seen the bumper sticker: "Anyone who says money can 't buy happiness just doesn 't know where to shop." It 's an amusing sentiment, but it provokes an important question: What exactly is the relationship between money and happiness? On one hand, there is an unquestionable link. Certainly no one would deny that having enough money to cover basic needs -- to provide food, clothing and shelter -- makes you happy, or at least
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The team 's data, which spans over 40 years, looks at 155 countries and hundreds of thousands of individuals. Their findings: "There is a robust relationship between well-being and economic development," says Wolfers. Their research is discussed in a paper titled, "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth" (PDF). Money is closely associated with well-being, a finding that rings true when comparing the happiness of two individuals in the same country, one 10% richer than another, or the average happiness of two countries, one with 10% higher income per capita. "Easterlin 's paradox intuitively makes sense, but as it turns out, the earliest findings of happiness research were things that we wished were true, rather than [being] actual facts," Wolfers notes. "It was an enormously reassuring hypothesis and made it easier for us to sleep at night without worrying about the human suffering in Burundi, knowing that people in Burundi were just as happy as we were." For his part, Easterlin, who teaches at the University of Southern California, has not backed down. Last month, he published a new paper concluding that in 37 countries around the world, rich and poor, levels of
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