The Rising Well-Being of the Young
NBER Working Paper No. 6102
Many observers believe that times are growing harder for young people in Western society. This paper looks at the evidence and finds that conventional wisdom appears to be wrong. Using the U.S. General Social Surveys and the Eurobarometer Surveys, the paper studies the reported happiness and life-satisfaction scores of random samples of young men and women. " The data cover the USA and thirteen European countries. Our main finding is that from the 1970s to the 1990s the well-being of the young increased quite markedly. A number of possible explanations are considered.