Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham’s Happiness for All?
360/2018 David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald
In Happiness for All?, Carol Graham raises disquieting ideas about today’s United States. The challenge she puts forward is an important one. Here we review the intellectual case and offer additional evidence. We conclude broadly on the author’s side. Strikingly, Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of other countries, and most subgroups of citizens have downwardly trended happiness levels. There is, however, one bright side to an otherwise dark story. The happiness of black Americans has risen strongly since the 1970s. It is now almost equal to that of white Americans.
Behavioural economics and wellbeing
Journal of Economic Literature