This paper describes the findings from a new, and intrinsically interdisciplinary, literature on happiness and human well-being. The paper focuses on international evidence. We report the patterns in modern data; we discuss what has been persuasively established and what has not; we suggest paths for future research. Looking ahead, our instinct is that this social-science research avenue will gradually merge with a related literature -- from the medical, epidemiological, and biological sciences -- on biomarkers and health. Nevertheless, we expect that intellectual convergence to happen slowly.
For suggestions and valuable discussions, we thank Gordon D.A. Brown, Rafael Di Tella, Amanda Goodall, Robert MacCulloch, Nick Powdthavee, Eugenio Proto, Daniel Sgroi, and Steve Wu. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.