EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth

Daniel Sacks, Betsey Stevenson () and Justin Wolfers ()

No 8048, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We explore the relationships between subjective well-being and income, as seen across individuals within a given country, between countries in a given year, and as a country grows through time. We show that richer individuals in a given country are more satisfied with their lives than are poorer individuals, and establish that this relationship is similar in most countries around the world. Turning to the relationship between countries, we show that average life satisfaction is higher in countries with greater GDP per capita. The magnitude of the satisfaction-income gradient is roughly the same whether we compare individuals or countries, suggesting that absolute income plays an important role in influencing well-being. Finally, studying changes in satisfaction over time, we find that as countries experience economic growth, their citizens’ life satisfaction typically grows, and that those countries experiencing more rapid economic growth also tend to experience more rapid growth in life satisfaction. These results together suggest that measured subjective well-being grows hand in hand with material living standards.

Keywords: development; Easterlin Paradox; economic growth; hedonic treadmill; life satisfaction; quality of life; Subjective well-being; well-being-income gradient (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 I32 O11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-10
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (62) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8048 (application/pdf)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

Related works:
Working Paper: Subjective well-being, income, economic development and growth (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth (2010) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8048

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... ers/dp.php?dpno=8048

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2020-01-23
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8048