Justin Wolfers is a contributor to the wonderful Freakonomics Blog at the New York Times. Freakonomics started as a book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner and has grown into a movement to better understand every day life in terms of economics. Freakonomics is a powerful force for happiness, because it helps us to better understand our world and to make better decisions on government regulations which may impact our happiness.
Justin has written some excellent articles on happiness for the Freakonomics blog, and I’d like to introduce you to a few of them.
Is Ignorance Really Bliss?
In Is Ignorance Really Bliss? Justin tackles a very old and commonly held misconception regarding happiness.
Wolfers analyzes data from the General Social Suvey to prove that “those with stronger vocabularies or stronger analytic reasoning skills are more likely to be very happy, and less likely to be unhappy.”
The Economics of Happiness
The Economics of Happiness is a four part series documenting the complex relationships between money and happiness.
- Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox
- Are Rich Countries Happier than Poor Countries?
- Historical Evidence
- Are Rich People Happier than Poor People?
I highly recommend that you read the entire series, but a quick summary is found in part one:
- Rich people are happier than poor people.
- Richer countries are happier than poorer countries.
- As countries get richer, they tend to get happier.
The next time someone tells you that money can’t buy happiness, you’ll know better.