Class and happiness

Class and happiness

by Richard Florida

Over the past week, I’ve discussed the role of class in economic performance, innovation, and entrepreneurship. But what about happiness?

There is considerable debate over the happiness of nations. The Easterlin paradox suggests that there is little or no relationship between a country’s economic development and its level of happiness in comparison to others. An influential paper by economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson contradicts the Easterlin paradox, finding a clear relationship between economic development (measured as GDP per capita) and happiness. In other words, countries that increase their wealth become happier, and countries that increase their wealth more than other nations become happier than others.

But what about the effects of class on happiness? Are societies in which a greater share of workers are members of the creative class on balance happier than those with large working class populations?

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