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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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Economic Growth, Crises, Inequality, and More

Economic Growth, Crises, Inequality, and More

(p.145) Chapter 6 Economic Growth, Crises, Inequality, and More
Happiness Around the World

Carol Graham

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how happiness and well-being are affected by macroeconomic trends and patterns such as economic growth, financial crisis, inequality, inflation, and unemployment. It first considers the so-called ‘paradox of unhappy growth’, in which happiness is negatively correlated with economic growth. It then looks at the ‘happy peasant and frustrated achiever’ paradox, in which very poor and destitute respondents report high or relatively high levels of well-being, while much wealthier ones with more mobility and opportunities report much lower levels of well-being and greater frustration with their economic and other situations. It also analyses the ‘aspirations paradox’ as well as the link between financial crises and human well-being before concluding with a discussion of the misery index which gauges the negative effects of inflation and unemployment on welfare.

Keywords:   happiness, economic growth, financial crisis, inequality, inflation, unemployment, paradox of unhappy growth, happy peasant and frustrated achiever paradox, aspirations paradox, human well-being

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