Money can’t buy you happiness, right? That’s the assumption we’ve always had, and it feels good to feel that way. It’s also been held by something called the Easterlin paradox that happiness is about lots of other stuff. Well, it turns out the story might be a little more complicated.
There’s new work by Shigehiro Oishi – he’s a psychologist at the University of Virginia – that adds a wrinkle to the Easterlin paradox. So he told me that the United States is itself an example of the Easterlin paradox at work. GDP in the U.S. has grown much faster than happiness levels. Oishi told me that when he examined the wealth and happiness data in the U.S., he noticed a connection between this and another factor, the rise in U.S. income inequality. Here he is.
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