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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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Happiness around the World

Happiness around the World

Lessons—and Questions—for Policy

(p.213) Chapter 8 Happiness around the World
Happiness Around the World

Carol Graham

Oxford University Press

This book has explored the determinants of happiness across countries and cultures, with particular emphasis on what makes people happy and why, and how happiness relates to variables such as income, health, and economic development. In this concluding chapter, the potential of happiness surveys to improve public policy is discussed so as to better elucidate the determinants of human welfare and to allow scholars to attach relative weights to the various determinants of human well-being. The chapter also raises a number of conceptual and empirical challenges that must still be addressed before the findings of happiness studies can be applied to policy, including the appropriate definition of happiness, how to deal with variance in innate happiness levels and in human capacity to adapt to both prosperity and adversity, and inter-temporal problems.

Keywords:   happiness, income, health, economic development, public policy, welfare, human well-being, happiness surveys

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