Friday, December 17, 2010

Are we right to go for happiness?

Most politicians and economists work on the assumption that economic growth is in itself a good thing. However, research by Richard Easterlin from the University of Southern California suggests that, whatever its other benefits, it does not bring happiness. Easterlin's study tracked the levels of happiness and economic growth in 37 countries over an average of 22 years. Even in countries such as Chile, China and South Korea were per capita income has doubled in less than 20 years levels of happiness were static, or in some cases slightly declining. Although richer countries, and within countries richer people, had higher levels of happiness there was absolutely no connection between economic growth and happiness over time.

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