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A basic belief shattered…

or is it? I’ve always believed firmly in the so-called Easterlin paradox (although never really knowing what it was called). It’s an economic term named after the man who first wrote about it. (Some) statistics can be read in a way that indicates that, until you’ve reached a basic level of economic security, you get happier the more money you earn. The paradox being that once your finances are in such a state that you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your mouth (and healthcare and education possibilities for your children), your level of happiness evens out no matter how much money you earn after that.

This dogma is now being challenged by a couple of young American economists. According to an article in the New York Times their data is fairly substantiated. But read it for yourselves, I can’t explain it half as well as that excellent journalist who wrote the story.

First read it on a favourite blog of mine, Marginal Revolution. On New York Times’ Freakonomics blogs there’s more.

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