Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham’s Happiness for All?
In Happiness for All?, Carol Graham raises disquieting ideas about today’s United States. The challenge she puts forward is an important one. Here we review the intellectual case and offer additional evidence. We conclude broadly on the author’s side. Strikingly, Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of other countries, and most sub-groups of citizens have downwardly trended happiness levels. There is, however, one bright side to an otherwise dark story. The happiness of black Americans has risen strongly since the 1970s. It is now almost equal to that of white Americans.
For helpful suggestions, we are grateful to Amanda Goodall and Claudia Senik. The second author thanks the CAGE centre at Warwick, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The CAGE centre is funded partly by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK.
David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2019. "Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham’s for All?," Journal of Economic Literature, vol 57(2), pages 385-402. citation courtesy of