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Posts Tagged ‘Happiness’

Time, not material goods, ‚raises happiness‘

Posted by hkarner - 27. Juli 2017

Date: 26-07-2017
Source: BBC

Using money to free-up time is linked to increased happiness, a study says.

In an experiment, individuals reported greater happiness if they used £30 ($40) to save time – such as by paying for chores to be done – rather than spending the money on material goods.

Psychologists say stress over lack of time causes lower well-being and contributes to anxiety and insomnia.

Yet, they say even the very wealthy are often reluctant to pay people to do the jobs they dislike.

„In a series of surveys we find that people who spend money to buy themselves more free time are happier – that is they have higher life satisfaction,“ said Dr Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Life satisfaction Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Austria #13 at World Happiness Report 2017

Posted by hkarner - 20. März 2017

World Happiness Report 17_3-20-17


The World Happiness Report
, which ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels, will be released today at the United Nations at an event celebrating International Day of Happiness. The report, the fifth one to come out since 2012, continues to gain global recognition as governments, organizations and civil society increasingly use happiness indicators to inform their policy-making decisions. In addition to the rankings, this year’s report includes an analysis of happiness in the workplace and a deeper look at China and Africa.


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Origins of happiness: Evidence and policy implications

Posted by hkarner - 13. Dezember 2016

Andrew Clark, Sarah Fleche, Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee, George Ward

CNRS Research Professor at Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Researcher, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics

Founder and Emeritus Professor, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics

Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School

PhD student at MIT and research associate of the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

12 December 2016, voxeu

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Is It Time to Abandon GDP?

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2016

Photo of Edoardo CampanellaEdoardo Campanella

Edoardo Campanella is a eurozone economist at UniCredit and Junior Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

NOV 4, 2016 Project Syndicate

MILAN – In a year of populist discontent across the West and narrowing prospects for major emerging economies, the future may end up being shaped in an unlikely setting: the world’s statistical offices. Among ordinary people and specialists alike, there seems to be an increasingly powerful sense of dissatisfaction not only with the pace of economic growth, but with how that growth is defined and measured.

There are two reasons for this. First, aggregate economic growth in the developed world has brought little, if any, benefit to the vast majority of citizens in recent decades – a trend that has been particularly pronounced against the backdrop of the 2008 global financial crisis. As Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz reminds us, “in the ‘recovery” of 2009-2010, the top 1% of US income earners captured 93% of the income growth.”

But second, and arguably more important, defining welfare solely in terms of what can be measured by markets misses much of what contributes to – or detracts from – human wellbeing. In 1968, Robert Kennedy, campaigning for the presidency of the United States, lamented that this approach “measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile.” It says nothing, for example, about environmental quality, the cohesion of communities, or the stability of individual and group identities – all of which clearly influence wellbeing. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The half-life of happiness

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juli 2015

Sebastian Galiani, Paul Gertler, Raimundo Undurraga 21 July 2015, voxeu

Professor of Economics, University of Maryland

Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics, University of California Berkeley

PhD student at the Robert Wagner School of Public Service, New York Universit

In other words, happiness is what we value and everything else, including health and material wellbeing, is valued only to the extent that it makes us happy and helps us to avoid pain. While subjective wellbeing is positively correlated with material wellbeing in the short run (Deaton 2013, Di Tella et al. 2003, Stevenson and Wolfers 2008) a fundamental question arises as to whether the colossal improvement in material conditions that has occurred since the time of Aristotle has made human beings substantially happier or not. If happiness monotonically increases with development, then the enhancement of material wellbeing should have made human beings many orders of magnitude happier today than they were at the time of Aristotle. Existing evidence indicates, however, that happiness has not really increased over time (Easterlin 1974), suggesting that considerable adaptation has taken place.

We get used to the good things Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Beyond economic voting: Do voters hold incumbents to account for the country’s happiness?

Posted by hkarner - 7. Mai 2015

George Ward 06 May 2015, voxeu

Politicians have long focused on GDP as the main measure of national performance. And with good reason — one of the most-replicated and well-known findings in economics and political science is that voters reward incumbents at the ballot box during periods of economic prosperity, and punish them during downturns (e.g. Fair, 1978; Kramer, 1971).

However, the last few years have seen a growing interest in measures of societal progress that go “beyond GDP” (Fleurbaey 2009). One option that has gained in popularity is to ask people directly how happy or satisfied they are with their lives (Krueger and Stone, 2014). In line with recommendations made by the Stiglitz Commission (2010) as well as reports by the EU (2009), OECD (2013) and US National Research Council (2014), many countries and international organisations are beginning to collect subjective wellbeing (SWB)—or ‘happiness’—data in order to gauge success and guide policymaking.1

But do voters themselves judge performance in such broad terms at the polls? And is it in politicians’ electoral interest to focus policy on anything beyond GDP? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Proof that money does in fact buy happiness

Posted by hkarner - 3. Mai 2013

Date: 02-05-2013
Source: Fortune

A new study debunks the theory that money doesn’t make you any happier once you’ve passed a certain income threshold.

Happy now?

FORTUNE – They say money can’t buy happiness, but a new study suggests it actually can.
In fact, the more money you have, the happier you are.

That might sound obvious to some people, but studies have historically shown there’s more to happiness than money. In the 1970s, economist Richard Easterlin argued that increasing average income did not raise average well-being, a claim that became known as the Easterlin Paradox. Over the years, the paradox evolved into the notion that money does indeed buy happiness, but that effect fizzles once the income you earn is able to buy your basic needs — food, shelter, and the like.

Somehow that idea carried into popular notion but was never really formally tested. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hooray for GDP! GDP as a measure of wellbeing

Posted by hkarner - 22. Dezember 2012

Nicholas Oulton, 22 December 2012, voxeu

The idea of having GDP growth as the main target of economic policy has been under attack in recent years. This column addresses some of the criticisms and argues that continued GDP growth would be good for the UK and other European countries – and not just in the short term to reduce high levels of unemployment.

The much-loved English poet John Betjeman is reported to have said on his deathbed that the one thing he regretted in his life was not having had more sex. This provides a seasonally relevant, if somewhat off-colour, reminder that there is more to life than just buying and consuming stuff. And that is what GDP measures – the output of goods and services on which we collectively spend our income.

Many people today would say that promoting the growth of GDP is undesirable or even irresponsible. Some economists see happiness as ‘a more ambitious and laudable policy objective’ (see, for example, Graham 2011). In a recent paper submitted as evidence to the LSE’s Growth Commission, I consider three common criticisms of GDP as a target of policy and explain why I think they are wrong (Oulton, 2012a):

  • The first criticism is that GDP is hopelessly flawed as a measure of human welfare. For example, the argument goes, it takes no account of pollution.
  • The second criticism is that GDP ignores distribution. In a rich country like the US, some say, the typical person or family has seen little or no benefit from growth since the 1970s. At the same time, inequality has risen sharply.
  • The third criticism is that above a certain level, a higher material standard of living does not make people happier. This view concludes that we should stop trying to raise GDP and look instead for policies that promote happiness. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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When Growth Outpaces Happiness

Posted by hkarner - 28. September 2012

Date: 28-09-2012
Source: The New York Times

CHINA’s new leaders, who will be anointed next month at the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress in Beijing, might want to rethink the Faustian bargain their predecessors embraced some 20 years ago: namely, that social stability could be bought by rapid economic growth.

As the recent riots at a Foxconn factory in northern China demonstrate, growth alone, even at sustained, spectacular rates, has not produced the kind of life satisfaction crucial to a stable society — an experience that shows how critically important good jobs and a strong social safety net are to people’s happiness.

Starting in 1990, as China moved to a free-market economy, real per-capita consumption and gross domestic product doubled, then doubled again. Most households now have at least one color TV. Refrigerators and washing machines — rare before 1990 — are common in cities.

Yet there is no evidence that the Chinese people are, on average, any happier, according to an analysis of survey data that colleagues and I conducted. If anything, they are less satisfied than in 1990, and the burden of decreasing satisfaction has fallen hardest on the bottom third of the population in wealth. Satisfaction among Chinese in even the upper third has risen only moderately. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Everyone’s Trying to Measure Well-Being

Posted by hkarner - 31. Mai 2012

Date: 31-05-2012
Source: TIME
It’s mid-afternoon, and I’m sharing a long lunch with a colleague at a sidewalk café in Paris. There’s a basket of fresh-baked bread on our table and a parade of well-dressed shoppers passing by. At the next table, three men bask in the sunshine, chatting over a bottle of chilled Champagne. Children whizz by on their kick-scooters, headed for the park.

In other words, this is a really miserable place.

Americans might dream of visiting Paris — France is the world’s most visited country — but to the locals, there is plenty to whine about, and they do, to an extreme extent, according to the statistics. Demonstrations snarl traffic every few days, and last year a Gallup International poll ranked the French the most pessimistic among 51 countries; another Gallup poll, taken days before grumpy voters turfed Nicolas Sarkozy out of office on May 6, found that most French believed their lives were sure to get worse in the next five years. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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