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Happiness Around the WorldThe paradox of happy peasants and miserable millionaires$
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Carol Graham

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199549054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199549054.001.0001

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Does Happiness Matter?1

Does Happiness Matter?1

Chapter:
(p.88) Chapter 4 Does Happiness Matter?1
Source:
Happiness Around the World
Author(s):

Carol Graham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199549054.003.0005

This chapter examines whether happiness matters to outcomes that we care about, such as those related to the labour market or health. Focusing on changes in happiness in Russia for the period 1995–2000, it considers the effects of happiness on future income, health, and on the probabilities of being married, employed, and of quitting or starting smoking or drinking. It shows that happiness does matter to some outcomes that we care about, such as higher levels of income and better health, but not to others. For example, happier people drank more on average, but excessive drinking is not good for happiness. Divorce affected people's happiness, but unhappiness did not cause divorce.

Keywords:   happiness, labour market, health, Russia, income, smoking, drinking, unhappiness, divorce

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