I did not want to have a trust fund or any other access to or dependence on his money. I also recoiled at the idea of inheriting a life of privilege while so many others had to struggle for their basic livelihood.
Since then the world has come a long way. Increasingly, happiness is considered to be the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy. Norway tops the global happiness rankings for Norway has jumped from 4th place in to 1st place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch.
All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: Their averages are so close that small changes can re-order the rankings from year to year. Norway moves to the top of the ranking despite weaker oil prices.
It is sometimes said that Norway achieves and maintains its high happiness not because of its oil wealth, but in spite of it. By choosing to produce its oil slowly, and investing the proceeds for the future rather than spending them in the present, Norway has insulated itself from the boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies.
To do this successfully requires high levels of mutual trust, shared purpose, generosity and good governance, all factors that help to keep Norway and other top countries where they are in the happiness rankings. All of the other countries in the top ten also have high values in all six of the key variables used to explain happiness differences among countries and through time — income, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble, generosity, freedom and trust, with the latter measured by the absence of corruption in business and government.
There is a four-point happiness gap between the two groups of countries, of which three-quarters is explained by the six variables, half due to differences in having someone to count on, generosity, a sense of freedom, and freedom from corruption.
The other half of the explained difference is attributed to GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy, both of which, as the report explains, also depend importantly on the social context.
In richer countries the within-country differences are not mainly explained by income inequality, but by differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships: Income differences matter more in poorer countries, but even their mental illness is a major source of misery.
Work is also a major factor affecting happiness see Chapter 6. Unemployment causes a major fall in happiness, and even for those in work the quality of work can cause major variations in happiness.
Easterlin, who pioneered the economics of happiness more than 40 years ago. It contrasts the sharply growing per capita income in China over the past 25 years with life evaluations that fell steadily from till aboutrecovering since then to about the levels.
They attribute the dropping happiness in the first part of the period to rising unemployment and fraying social safety nets, with recoveries since in both see Chapter 3.
But these are often marked by delayed and disappointed hopes for happier lives see Chapter 4. The reasons are declining social support and increased corruption see Chapter 7 and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better.
Colophon World Happiness Report Editors: World Happiness ReportNew York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
World Happiness Report management by Sharon Paculor.
Design by John Stislow and Stephanie Stislow.economic trajectory, we risk undermining the Earth’s life support systems – food supplies, clean water, and stable climate – necessary for human health and even survival in some places. In years or decades, conditions WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT.
Richard Layard. Part I. 2. 3.
Fourth, as happiness is the most common yearning of the electorate both individually and collectively and as it transcends ideological or contentious values, public policies based on GNH will be far less arbitrary than those based on standard economic tools.
Noddings, N. () Happiness and Education, New York: Cambridge University Press. pages. The book explores what we might teach if we were to take happiness seriously as a goal of education.
The book explores what we might teach if we were to take happiness seriously as a goal of education. The results from Stevenson and Wolfers are consistent with other studies looking at changes of happiness inequality (or life satisfaction inequality) over time.
In particular, researchers have noted that there is a correlation between economic growth and reductions in happiness inequality—even when income inequality is increasing at the . BTN fielded the Traveler Happiness Index survey primarily to North American-based business travelers.
Respondents were screened for a minimum of four business trips in the past 12 months that included an airline ticket and at least one overnight stay.
Stevenson, B and J Wolfers (), “Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox”, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1: 1– Stiglitz, J E, A Sen, and J-P Fitoussi (), “Report of the commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress”, CMEPSP.