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The paradox of wealthy nations' unhappy adolescents

Dirk Bethmann and Robert Rudolf ()
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Robert Rudolf: Division of International Studies, Korea University 145, Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, South Korea

No 2101, Discussion Paper Series from Institute of Economic Research, Korea University

Abstract: Using PISA 2018 data from nearly half a million 15-year olds across 72 middle- and high-income countries, we find a negative log-linear relationship between per-capita GDP and adolescent life satisfaction. This finding stands in stark contrast to the otherwise positive relationship found between GDP per capita and adult life satisfaction. Our analysis suggests that this apparent paradox can largely be attributed to higher learning intensity in higher-income countries.

Keywords: economic development; adolescent life satisfaction; learning intensity; education competition; wellbeing-efficiency trade-off; PISA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 I25 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-gth, nep-ind and nep-reg
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