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The Key Determinants of Happiness and Misery

Andrew Clark (), Sarah Flèche (), Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee () and George Ward

CEP Discussion Papers from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: Understanding the key determinants of people's life satisfaction will suggest policies for how best to reduce misery and promote wellbeing. This paper provides evidence from survey data on USA, Australia, Britain and Indonesia, which indicate that the things that matter most are people's social relationships and their mental and physical health. These adult factors affecting happiness are influenced in turn by the pattern of child development: the best predictor of an adult's life satisfaction is their emotional health as a child. These results call for a new focus for public policy - not "wealth-creation" but "wellbeing-creation".

Keywords: happiness; subjective wellbeing; life satisfaction; government; mental health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 I10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu
Date: 2017-06
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Working Paper: The key determinants of happiness and misery (2017)
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