Sriram Balasubramanian, 17 February 2019

There has been considerable criticism of the general reliance on GDP as an indicator of growth and development. One strand of criticism focuses on the inability of GDP to capture the subjective well-being or happiness of a populace. This column examines new growth models, paying particular attention to Bhutan, which has pursued gross national happiness, rather than GDP, since the 1970s. It finds evidence of the Easterlin paradox in Bhutan, and draws out lessons for macroeconomic growth models. 

Eugenio Proto, Aldo Rustichini, 11 January 2014

The link between higher national income and higher national life satisfaction is critical to economic policymaking. This column presents new evidence that the connection is hump-shaped. There is a clear, positive relation in the poorer nations and regions, but it flattens out at around $30,000–$35,000, and then turns negative.

Richard Easterlin, 10 April 2009

Richard Easterlin of the University of Southern California talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the Easterlin paradox – his finding, first published in 1974, that although people with higher incomes are more likely to report being happy, rising incomes do not lead to increases in subjective wellbeing. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in San Francisco in January 2009.

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