02 May 2011

The determinants of happiness

There is a lot of talk these days that economic growth is not what matters. Often this follows the (re-)discovery of the fact that large N studies do not seem to indicate a long run relation between happiness and income. I'm quite convinced by the conceptual inadequacies of economic indicators such as GDP. The obvious question is the so what matters for happiness ? A research note by Deutsche Bank Research "the happy variety of capitalism" looks precisely at some simple descriptive stats. I've selected three of the graphs they have produced. Well, for the sceptics of indicators, what these graphs show is that income, unemployment and education are indeed important benchmarks of genuine progress for developed societies...

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