Lane Kenworthy, The Good Society
Happiness consists of some combination of three elements: life satisfaction, which involves an appraisal of the overall condition of one’s life; positive feelings, such as pleasure and joy; and negative feelings, such as worry, frustration, anger, and sadness. Though happiness isn’t the only outcome on which a society should be judged, it clearly matters. And for some it is at the top of the list.1
Two facts about happiness in the United States are puzzling. First, despite a variety of favorable developments, Americans haven’t, on average, gotten happier over the past half century. Second, despite our comparative affluence, Americans are only in the middle of the happiness pack among the world’s rich nations.
Of greater concern, there appears to have been a worldwide rise in unhappiness in recent decades.
- Measuring happiness
- Determinants of happiness
- Can happiness change over time?
- Why hasn’t happiness increased in the United States?
- Why aren’t Americans happier than their counterparts in other rich democratic nations?
- The worldwide increase in unhappiness
- How can we increase happiness?
Scientists measure happiness mainly via public opinion surveys. People are asked questions such as:
- “Taken all together, how would you say things are these days — would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?”
- “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?” Respondents are instructed to indicate their satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 10.
- “Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”
Since the early 1970s, the General Social Survey (GSS) has regularly asked a representative sample of American adults the happiness question. Eurobarometer has regularly asked a version of the life satisfaction question in many European nations since the 1970s. In five-year intervals since the early 1980s, the World Values Survey has asked happiness and life satisfaction questions in a number of countries. Since 2005, the Gallup World Poll has asked adults in most of the world’s nations the ladder question.
Can we trust these measures to accurately tap people’s subjective wellbeing? Yes. Responses tend to correlate strongly with the assessments of friends and family and with clinical assessments. There is no indication of desirability bias in responses. When the same people are asked these survey questions over time, their responses tend to be consistent, with predictable changes in the face of major life shocks such as divorce and unemployment. And when people are asked both the happiness question and the life satisfaction question, their answers are strongly correlated.2
DETERMINANTS OF HAPPINESS
What causes happiness? For any given person, unique individual circumstances may play an important role. But scientists have identified a number of other important contributors.3
Genetics. Approximately 30% to 50% of an individual’s emotional state is determined by their biology.4
Physical health. Physical health is positively associated with happiness. Healthy life expectancy is one of the best predictors of life satisfaction across countries. Obesity has a separate happiness-reducing effect.5
Perceived health may matter as much or more for happiness than actual health. Over the years 1972 to 2018, Americans who said their health is poor had an average happiness score of 4 on a scale of 0 to 10; those who said their health is excellent had an average happiness score of 7. Comparing across Americans, subjective health is perhaps the most influential determinant of happiness.6
Mental health. Poor mental health, such as diagnosed depression or anxiety disorder, is one of the strongest predictors of low happiness.7
Social support, family, friends. Having someone to count on in time of trouble, being married, and having close friends are positively associated with happiness.8
Public services and insurance programs. Worry about finances is the stressor that tends to be most damaging for happiness.9 Life satisfaction is higher in countries with public services that increase people’s ability to find good employment and public insurance programs that cushion economic loss.10
Income. Income tends to increase happiness.
But there are two caveats. One is that this effect weakens at higher levels of income.11 Figure 1 shows the pattern across individuals in the United States, and figure 2 shows the pattern across countries. Additional income increases happiness at all income levels, but the magnitude of the increase is smaller at high income levels.12
A second caveat is that if we look at individuals or countries over time, increases in income may or may not boost happiness.13 This is because our reference point, when we think of how satisfied we are with our income, tends to be other people.14 When a person’s income rises, the income of her siblings or friends or other people in her country usually is rising as well, so she won’t feel better off. The same may be true for countries. If Americans experience rising incomes but they don’t see themselves as getting richer relative to Canadians or Germans, they may feel no happier than before.
Does this mean there is little value to economic growth? No, because subjective wellbeing isn’t only thing we care about. Moreover, it isn’t clear how broadly this phenomenon applies. The evidence from the world’s rich democratic nations since around 1980, and for the United States since the early 1970s, suggests little or no rise in life satisfaction despite economic growth. The same seems to be true for China since around 1990. But we don’t have lengthy time series data for most of the world’s other nations.15
Do improvements in other determinants of happiness, such as health, also fail to yield increases in subjective wellbeing? No, because for those the reference point tends to be our own past. We don’t know as much about other people’s health as we do about their income or living standards, so when we evaluate our health we tend to compare it to our own previous health rather than to other people’s health. Thus, if our health improves, it tends to increase our happiness, whereas if our income increases, it may or may not increase our happiness.16
Income inequality. Because people compare their income to others, relative income affects happiness. Higher levels of income inequality may therefore reduce happiness.17
Education. People with more education tend to be happier, though the payoff comes largely via higher income.18
Age. Among adults, happiness tends to decrease steadily until middle age — the late forties — and then begins to rise.19
Unemployment. Being unemployed (wanting a job but unable to get one) decreases happiness. In the General Social Survey data, for example, 32-36% of Americans employed full-time, employed part-time, or “keeping house” say they are very happy, compared to just 18% of those who are unemployed. An analysis of European countries in the years 2002-2018 finds that being unemployed reduces life satisfaction by three-quarters of a point on a 0 to 10 scale, an effect similar in size to that of health and income.20
Labor market flexibility. In rich countries, life satisfaction tends to be higher where there aren’t stiff regulations limiting hiring and firing.21
Work conditions. Having good relationships at work (especially with your manager), more autonomy at work, less work stress, and a shorter commute to work are associated with greater happiness.22
Leisure time. Taking more vacation days, outsourcing disliked household chores, and spending time with family and friends instead of at a job tend to increase happiness.23
Safety. People tend to be happier in societies where crime rates are lower.24
Quality of government. People in countries with greater perceived government effectiveness tend to be happier. And when government effectiveness increases, happiness tends to rise.25
Freedom to make life choices. Persons who feel they have the freedom to choose what to do with their life tend to be happier.26
Individualism. People tend to be happier in societies with “individualist” rather than “collectivist” value orientations. This refers to cultural norms that encourage people to think of themselves as autonomous individuals as opposed to norms that encourage conformity or obedience to authority.27
Tolerance. Tolerance of diverse lifestyles is positively associated with happiness.28
Trust. Trust in other people is positively correlated with happiness.29
Religiosity. In the United States, frequency of attendance at religious services is positively associated with happiness, though this may be chiefly because it increases friendships.30
CAN HAPPINESS CHANGE OVER TIME?
People have a strong propensity to adapt to changes in life circumstances and revert to their earlier level of happiness. Yet average happiness in a country can and does change, for two reasons. First, adaptation is partial; some individuals do experience lasting changes in happiness over time.31 Second, even if the happiness of particular individuals remains constant, if average happiness among younger cohorts is lower or higher, cohort replacement will produce a change in overall average happiness over time.
Figure 3 shows trends in life satisfaction in the world’s rich democratic nations since the early 1970s. All of these countries have experienced economic growth and rising life expectancy during this period, and yet the data suggest that most have had either stagnant or slightly declining life satisfaction.
WHY HASN’T HAPPINESS INCREASED IN THE UNITED STATES?
Figure 4 shows the average level of happiness and life satisfaction among American adults since the early 1970s. Both measures have been essentially flat, perhaps with a decline since around 2000.
Figure 5 shows the shares responding not too happy, pretty happy, and very happy to the General Social Survey’s happiness question. Between the early 1970s and 2000, the pretty happy share increased and both the not too happy and very happy shares fell, yielding little if any change in average happiness. Since 2000, the very happy share has declined and the not too happy share has increased.
Figure 6 shows the share of Americans who say they are satisfied with how things are going in their personal life. This too has been flat since the 1970s.
The lack of increase in happiness since the early 1970s is surprising because a number of known happiness boosters have improved during this period:
- Rising life expectancy
- Rising GDP per capita
- Rising educational attainment
- Lower unemployment
- Greater tolerance
Life expectancy has increased from 71 years in 1972 to 79 in 2016.32 GDP per capita doubled between 1972 and 2016 (in inflation-adjusted dollars).33 Educational attainment has increased; for instance, the share of American adults with four years of college or more rose from 12% in 1972 to 33% in 2015.34 Even with the deep economic downturn in 2008 and subsequent slow recovery, the unemployment rate fell from an average of 7% during 1972-1990 to 6% during 1991-2016.35 And Americans have grown increasingly tolerant; for example, the share saying homosexuality is “always wrong” dropped from 73% in 1973 to 40% in 2016.36
Given these developments, what accounts for the lack of increase in average happiness? Do these happiness boosters no longer have an impact? While that’s possible, the stagnation in happiness is more likely due to a variety of offsetting developments:
- Declining perceived physical health and more obesity
- Slow household income growth
- Rising income inequality
- Less marriage
- Increased time stress
- Reduced trust
- Declining religiosity
- The baby boom and happiness over the life cycle
For most Americans, the income growth that’s occurred since the early 1970s may have been too slow to improve happiness. While GDP per capita has nearly doubled, median household income has risen only modestly. And that increase owes mainly to the fact that more and more households have shifted from one earner to two, so lots of Americans may feel no better off despite substantial economic growth.39 Moreover, since 1980 income inequality has risen sharply in the United States, so if Americans are making relative comparisons, many may feel their economic situation has gotten worse rather than better.40
The share of 35-to-64-year-olds who are married declined from 88% in the early 1970s to 63% in 2016.41 Since the advent of the iPhone in 2007, smartphones and social media have increased the degree to which our leisure time is interrupted, which makes us feel more time stressed.42 Average commute time has increased steadily since the 1970s.43 The share of Americans saying “most people can be trusted” has dropped steadily since the early 1970s.44 Attendance at religious services has decreased in recent decades.45 The movement of the large baby boom generation through the happiness life cycle may also have depressed average happiness; baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964) were on the downward part of the happiness life-cycle curve beginning in the late 1970s and began reaching the low point (late forties) around 1990.
So the explanation for stagnant happiness among Americans seems to be that while a number of happiness boosters have improved, their impact has been offset by lack of improvement, or worsening, of some important happiness depressors.
Whatever the causes, it’s worth noting that the United States isn’t alone in its failure to improve. As we saw in figure 3 (above), that’s been true in many of the world’s affluent democratic countries.
WHY AREN’T AMERICANS HAPPIER THAN THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN OTHER RICH DEMOCRATIC NATIONS?
Figure 7 shows the association between life satisfaction and GDP per capita among the rich democracies. The United States underperforms: it lies below the line, ranking fourth in affluence but only fourteenth in life satisfaction. Why is that?
Here too it makes sense to think about happiness boosters and depressors that might offset America’s comparatively high GDP per capita. Prime suspects include:
- Public goods, services, and insurance programs
- Health: longevity and obesity
- Income inequality
- Social support
- Freedom to make life choices
An expansive and generous array of public goods, services, and insurance programs gets rid of some of life’s biggest worries, which is likely to reduce the share of people with low life satisfaction. The Nordic countries have the world’s most robust welfare states, and figure 8 shows that in each of those four countries the share of adults who rate their life satisfaction as 6 or below (on a scale of 1 to 10) is 10-15 percentage points lower than in the United States, where public insurance programs are less developed.46
However, we also see in figure 8 that a larger share of people in the Nordics say their life satisfaction is very high (9 or 10) than in the US. While public social programs might contribute to this, there likely is more to the story.
In health, America is at or near the bottom among the rich countries. The US has the lowest life expectancy and the highest incidence of obesity.47
If the effect of income on a person’s happiness is partly relative — that is, affected by their position in comparison to others in their society — then countries with higher income inequality should tend to have lower happiness. Income inequality is greater in the United States than in any other affluent nation.48
The US is middling or below on several measures of educational attainment, including college completion among recent cohorts, the share of adults with at least secondary education, and literacy.49
The US has one of the lowest shares of households consisting of a couple, and the highest with just one adult.50
The Gallup World Poll includes a question asking “If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends you can count on to help you whenever you need them, or not?” This is a good predictor of life satisfaction, and Americans are less likely than their counterparts in a number of other rich nations to say they have someone they can count on to help.51
Compared to other rich nations, Americans are middle-of-the-pack when it comes to trusting others.52
Another Gallup World Poll question asks “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?” On average, those who respond “satisfied” tend to have higher levels of life satisfaction. Despite the emphasis on liberty in the United States, respondents in the Nordic countries and some others are more likely than Americans to say they feel free in this respect.53
THE WORLDWIDE INCREASE IN UNHAPPINESS
The Gallup World Poll allows us to look beyond the rich democratic countries. Though it only began in 2006, the poll covers more than 98% of the world’s population.
A striking pattern we observe is a rise in unhappiness. This is particularly worrisome. As Daniel Kahneman once wrote, “The percentage of people who are very satisfied or very happy is not very relevant as a policy statistic. Much more relevant to policy is the percentage of people who are very unhappy, very worried, or very dissatisfied.”54
Figure 9 shows average life satisfaction among the least happy 20% of people in the world. Between 2006 and 2019 (just before the Covid-19 pandemic) there was a decline of one full point (on a scale of 0 to 10). Even worse, the share of people who score their life satisfaction as zero, the lowest possible score, increased from 1.6% to 7.6% during these years.55
Figure 10 shows an index representing the incidence of negative feelings. The Gallup World Poll asks people whether they experienced various feelings during a lot of the day yesterday. The negative feelings included in the index are anger, stress, sadness, physical pain, and worry. The incidence of these feelings increased steadily between 2006 and 2019.
Interestingly, the trend appears to be present in the United States too. If we look back at figure 4, we see a decrease in life satisfaction and in happiness beginning around 2000. And figure 5 shows that the share of Americans saying they are “not too happy” has risen since 2000.
What’s caused this rise in unhappiness? The initial precipitant may well have been the 2008-09 economic crisis. But that seems unlikely to account for the continued rise in the 2010s, because in many countries economic conditions were improving during those years. The most careful exploration of this trend concludes that we aren’t fully certain what has caused it.56
HOW CAN WE INCREASE HAPPINESS?
More and better mental health services would likely be of enormous benefit. So would expanding public insurance programs, faster income growth for ordinary households (in the US), more effective treatment for pain, reversing the rise in obesity, boosting educational attainment, keeping the unemployment rate low, improving work conditions, and reducing commute time. As it happens, these are all win-win strategies in the sense that they would be valuable in and of themselves, apart from their impact on subjective wellbeing.
But we don’t have a good sense of which would help most. Though our understanding of happiness has improved significantly, we have a long way yet to go.
That’s particularly true when it comes to what is arguably the most pressing subjective wellbeing problem: the rising and too-high level of unhappiness around the world.
- Jeremy Bentham, The Complete Works of Jeremy Bentham, volume 10, Online Library of Liberty, 1843; Richard Layard, Happiness, Penguin, 2005; Charles Murray, Coming Apart, Crown Forum, 2012; Richard Layard and Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Wellbeing: Science and Policy, Cambridge University Press, 2023. For contrary views, see Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Basic Books, 1974; Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, Oxford University Press, 1999. ↩
- Ed Diener, Richard E. Lucas, Ulrich Schimmack, and John F. Helliwell, Well-Being for Public Policy, Oxford University Press, 2009; Derek Bok, The Politics of Happiness, Princeton University Press, 2010, ch. 2; Benjamin Radcliff, The Political Economy of Human Happiness, Cambridge University Press, 2013, ch. 4; Richard A. Easterlin, An Economist’s Lessons on Happiness, Springer, 2021, ch. 2; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing. ↩
- Benjamin Radcliff offers a helpful analogy: “It may be useful to compare our conceptualization of happiness to that of obesity — or, to maintain the directionality of preferences over having this attribute, fitness. They are individual level characteristics that vary across both individuals and nations: within any country, some people are fitter than are others, just as mean levels of fitness vary across countries. Each concept is agreed to have a genetic or personality-driven component, but neither is entirely determined by this disposition. People are not obese entirely and only, or even primarily, because that is just the way they are. Instead, their latent disposition toward a given level of fitness is strongly affected and responsive to their diet and life-style. Similarly, the variation we see in levels of obesity across countries does not reflect so much the shared genetic inheritance of their citizens as the diet typical of the country. The high level of obesity in the United States, for instance, is widely agreed to be mostly a function of the American diet, not of the prevalence of a ‘fat gene’ that somehow dominates the U.S. gene pool. Even if some of the variation is indeed due to genetic structures, much of it, almost certainly most of it, is a function of the ‘objective conditions’ of American life, in the form of the national diet. The same, then, is likely to be true of happiness: genetics and/or similar unalterable features of individuals might play some role, but we can still identify the factors external to the individual, amenable to change, that also play a role. For the student of happiness, the goal is to identify those factors that play the same role as diet or exercise for obesity and, so armed, to suggest public policies that would encourage the appropriate behaviors.” Radcliff, The Political Economy of Human Happiness, pp. 93-94. ↩
- Jon Clifton, Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It, Gallup Press, 2022; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing. ↩
- Layard, Happiness, ch. 5; Layard et al, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery”; Carol Graham, Happiness Around the World, Oxford University Press, 2009; Marina Selini Katsaiti, “Obesity and Happiness,” Applied Economics, 2012; John F. Helliwell, Haifang Huang, Shun Wang, and Max Norton, “Social Environments for World Happiness,” World Happiness Report 2020. ↩
- Over the years 1972 to 2018: General Social Survey, series happy. Calculated with not too happy scored as 0, pretty happy scored as 5, and very happy scored as 10. Subjective health is perhaps the strongest determinant: This is from regressions using data from the General Social Survey 1972-2018. ↩
- Layard et al, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery”; Clark et al, “The Key Determinants of Happiness and Misery”; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing, ch. 10. ↩
- Layard, Happiness, ch. 5; Layard et al, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery”; Helliwell et al, “Social Foundations of Happiness.” ↩
- Dan Buettner, The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People, National Geographic, 2017, p. 203. ↩
- Radcliff, The Political Economy of Human Happiness; Christopher J. Anderson and Jason D. Hecht, “Happiness and the Welfare State: Decommodification and the Political Economy of Subjective Well-Being,” in The Politics of Advanced Capitalism, edited by Pablo Beramendi et al, Cambridge University Press, 2015; Kelsey J. O’Connor, “Happiness and Welfare State Policy Around the World,” Review of Behavioral Economics, 2017; Easterlin, An Economist’s Lessons on Happiness. ↩
- Richard A. Easterlin, “Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence,” in Nations and Households in Economic Growth: Essays in Honor of Moses Abramowitz, edited by Paul A David and Melvin W. Reder, Academic Press, 1974. ↩
- See also Angus Deaton, “Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2008. Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton find that the positive curvilinear relationship holds for life satisfaction but not for positive and negative feelings. Kahneman and Deaton, “High Income Improves Evaluation of Life But Not Emotional Well-Being,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010. ↩
- One study, by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, concluded that as nations get richer over time, their average happiness has tended to rise. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, “Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2008; Stevenson and Wolfers, “Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation?,” 2013. A follow-up analysis by Richard Easterlin and colleagues found that the association identified by Stevenson and Wolfers was based mainly on short-run developments, with happiness rising during periods of economic growth and declining during recessions, whereas long-run trends suggest no association between national income and average happiness. Richard A. Easterlin, Laura Angelescu McVey, Malgorzata Switek, Onnicha Sawangfa, and Jacqueline Smith Zweig, “The Happiness-Income Paradox Revisited,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010. ↩
- Easterlin, An Economist’s Lessons on Happiness. ↩
- Easterlin, An Economist’s Lessons on Happiness; Clifton, Blind Spot; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing. ↩
- Easterlin, An Economist’s Lessons on Happiness. ↩
- Glenn Firebaugh and Laura Tach, “Income, Age, and Happiness in America,” in Social Trends in American Life, 2012; Richard Layard, Guy Mayraz, and Stephen Nickell, “Does Relative Income Matter? Are the Critics Right?,” Discussion Paper 918, Centre for Economic Performance, 2009; Richard Layard, Andrew Clark, and Claudia Senik, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery,” in World Happiness Report, edited by John Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 2012; Andrew E. Clark, Sarah Fleche, Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee, and George Ward, “The Key Determinants of Happiness and Misery,” World Happiness Report 2017, 2017. ↩
- Layard et al, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery.” ↩
- Layard et al, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery”; David G. Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald, “Do Humans Suffer a Psychological Low in Midlife? Two Approaches (With and Without Controls) in Seven Data Sets,” Working Paper 23724, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017; David G. Blanchflower and Carol L. Graham, “The Mid-Life Dip in Well-Being: Economists (Who Find It) Versus Psychologists (Who Don’t),” Working Paper 26888, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020. ↩
- Layard, Happiness, ch. 5; Diener et al, Well-Being for Public Policy, pp. 160-165; Layard et al, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery”; Helliwell et al, “Social Environments for World Happiness,” p. 34; General Social Survey, series happy, wrkstat. ↩
- Anderson and Hecht, “Happiness and the Welfare State: Decommodification and the Political Economy of Subjective Well-Being.” ↩
- Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer, Happiness and Economics, Princeton University Press, 2002; Diener et al, Well-Being for Public Policy, pp. 150-154; Clifton, Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing. ↩
- Ashley Willans, Elizabeth W. Dunn, Paul Smeets, Rene Bekkers, and Michael I. Norton, “Buying Time Promotes Happiness,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; Ashley Whillans and Hanne Collins, “Accounting for Time,” Harvard Business Review: The Big Idea, hbr.org, 2019; Laura M. Giurge and Ashley Whillans, “Beyond Material Poverty: Why Time Poverty Matters for Individuals, Organizations, and Nations,” Working Paper 20-051, Harvard Business School, 2020, table 1. ↩
- Clifton, Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing. ↩
- Helliwell et al, “Social Foundations of Happiness”; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing. ↩
- Helliwell et al, “Social Foundations of Happiness.” ↩
- Ruut Veenhoven, “Quality-of-Life in Individualistic Society: A Comparison in 43 Nations in the Early 1990s,” Social indicators Research, 1999. ↩
- Ronald F. Inglehart, Robert Foa, Christopher Peterson, and Christian Welzel, “Development, Freedom, and Happiness: A Global Perspective,” Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2008. ↩
- Layard, Happiness, ch. 5; John F. Helliwell and Shun Wang, “Trust and Well-being,” Working Paper 15911, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2010; Layard et al, “The Causes of Happiness and Misery.” ↩
- Robert Putnam and David Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, Simon and Schuster, 2010; Layard and De Neve, Wellbeing, ch. 14. ↩
- Diener et al, Well-Being for Public Policy, ch. 6; Helliwell et al, “Social Foundations of Happiness.” ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Longevity,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Economic Growth,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “College education,” The Good Society. ↩
- St. Louis Fed, FRED Economic Data, series unrate. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Tolerance,” The Good Society. ↩
- General Social Survey, series health. It isn’t clear why this happened. Perhaps better diagnosis increased our awareness of ailments and diseases. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Weight Moderation,” The Good Society. ↩
- Claude S. Fischer, “What Wealth-Happiness Paradox? A Short Note on the American Case,” Journal of Happiness Studies, 2008; Lane Kenworthy, “Shared Prosperity,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Income Distribution,” The Good Society; Layard, Happiness, ch. 5; Shigehiro Oishi, Selin Kesebir, and Ed Diener, “Income Inequality and Happiness,” Psychological Science, 2011. Television accentuates the perception of one’s material circumstances being far below the norm. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Families,” The Good Society. ↩
- Ashley Whillans, Time Smart, Harvard Business Review Press, 2020, ch. 1.” ↩
- Brian McKenzie and Melanie Rapino, “Commuting in the United States: 2009,” Census Bureau, 2011. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Trust,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Religion,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Social Programs,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Longevity,” The Good Society; Kenworthy, “Weight Moderation,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Income Distribution,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “What Good Is Education?,” The Good Society; Kenworthy, “College Education,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Families,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Social Connections,” The Good Society; Helliwell et al, “Social Foundations of Happiness.” ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, “Trust,” The Good Society. ↩
- Lane Kenworthy, Social Democratic Capitalism, Oxford University Press, 2020; Helliwell et al, “Social Foundations of Happiness.” ↩
- Quoted in Clifton, Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It, p. 105. ↩
- Clifton, Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It, Introduction. ↩
- Clifton, Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It. ↩