Sunday, December 20, 2009

Economists on Happiness

Surely, it did not start with the success of "Freakonomics" but that book and its sequel, "SuperFreakonomics," has drawn special attention to the field of economics. Not for its ability to provide cogent analysis of monetary and fiscal policies, about spending and saving, about assets and liabilities, about investing and wasting money, but about HAPPINESS.

You would think that psychologists would have monopolized the field by now, but apparently not.

A few months back Tim Hartford wrote an article summarizing the latest in economic research into happiness. Whether you consider its conclusions intuitively obviously or counterintuitively shocking, they are worth a brief glance, especially for those who are working in the field. Link here.

A couple of amusing tidbits. If you want to be happy, spend less time with your children and more with your friends. Also, rather intuitively, you will be happier if you do not serve dog food at your next dinner party. Less intuitively, adolescents and the elderly are the happiest; people in their late 30s are the least happy.

As they say, Have a Happy Day!

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