10 Mar Income and Happiness: An Imperfect Link
Income and Happiness: An Imperfect Link
By ROBERT H. FRANK
Published: March 9, 2008
DOES money buy happiness? This week, Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, will join a long line of people who have taken serious stabs at trying to answer that thorny question. He will hold a hearing exploring whether traditional economic measures like per-capita income accurately capture people’s sense of well-being.
This has long been a contested issue. Although everyone concedes that income is an imperfect welfare measure, conservative economists have tended to emphasize its virtues while liberals have been more likely to stress its shortcomings.
The debate is not just of philosophical interest; it also has important policy implications. Recent research findings offer support for specific arguments on both sides. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that per-capita income is a less reliable measure of well-being when income inequality has been rising rapidly, as it has in recent decades.
To read the full story about happiness and income – click here