The Economics of Happiness

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photoDoes money buy happiness, love or even sex? The answers come from the fast-growing field of "happiness economics." A group of economists and psychologists in that field are touting the creation of so-called "national well-being indicators" which would track a country's happiness in the same way gross domestic product measures a country's economic strength.

Pure economics, they say, can't explain the fact that the U.S. is now three times richer than it was since the end of World War Two, but Americans are no happier than they were then. In fact, young Americans today are more anxious and more stressed out. One recent study found that frequent sex makes people happier, but contrary to perceptions, money can't buy sex or a good sex life.

Click one of the "listen" links to hear about sex, money, power, commuting, and the elements of well-being.


David Blanchflower, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College and co-author of the recent study, "Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study"

Ed Diener,
Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Carol Graham, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics at the Brookings Institution and co-author of the book "Happiness and Hardship: Opportunity and Insecurity in New Market Economies"

This program aired on July 15, 2004.


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