[EMAIL PROTECTED] (who may or may not have a regular name) wrote:
>Andrew Oswald ... April 1997 ... "Happiness and Economic Performance".
>... offers a much-needed reminder that economic growth is only a means
>to an end.  Economic things (more GDP, a lower CPI, etc) only matter
>in so far as they make people happier.  ...
>1. Better economic performance and growth does not mean more happiness.
>2. Happiness is relative.  ... often gender-specific ... dependent upon 
>age ...
>5. The key driver and source of UNHAPPINESS is unemployment and 

People seem to want more from life than happiness.  They often seem to
trade their happiness for other things that they want.  I would rather
give people what they want than to just make them happy.  Of course it
remains an open question just how much GDP helps people get what they want.

>Should the members of the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal
>Reserve throw their beige books out the window and instead sit on park
>benches in the Washington Mall and count the number of frowning passerbys?

I do think it would be worthwhile to collect statistics on happiness,
to include in an extended measure of national welfare.  But I wouldn't
include only happiness in such a measure.

Robin Hanson  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326  FAX: 703-993-2323

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