Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 4 > Issue 4

Paradox Lost?

Richard A. Easterlin, UCLA, USA,
Suggested Citation
Richard A. Easterlin (2017), "Paradox Lost?", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 4: No. 4, pp 311-339.

Publication Date: 20 Dec 2017
© 2017 R. A. Easterlin
JEL Codes: I31D60O10O5
Easterlin Paradoxcomparative political economyeconomic growthincomehappinesslife satisfactionsubjective well-beingtransition countriesless developed countriesdeveloped countrieslong-termshort-termtrendsfluctuations


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. The Paradox 
3. Paradox Regained? 
4. Analytical Differences 
5. Summary 
A. Life Satisfaction Response Options and Type of Preceding Question, World Values Survey (WVS) and European Values Survey (EVS) 1981–2014 
B. Basic Data for Regressions 


Or Paradox Regained? Critics from three different disciplines have recently claimed that the Easterlin Paradox is not supported by time-series analysis. New data for both the United States and countries worldwide, however, confirm that long-term trends in growth rates of happiness and real GDP per capita are not significantly positively related. The evidence indicates that it is Paradox Regained. The principal reasons that the critics reach a different conclusion is that they misinterpret the Paradox, omit available data, overlook problems of data comparability, err in the measurement of economic growth, or, most importantly, fail to focus on long-term rather than short-term growth rates.



Review of Behavioral Economics, Volume 4, Issue 4 Special Issue: Honoring Richard A. Easterlin
See the other articles that are also part of this special issue.