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The Origins of Happiness


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Paradigm 1 1 Happiness over the Life Course: What Matters Most? 15 Part I What Makes a Happy Adult? 2 Income 33 3 Education 51 4 Work and Unemployment 61 5 Building a Family 77 6 Health of Mind and Body 89 7 Crime 105 8 Social Norms and Institutions 115 9 Happiness at Older Ages 129 Part II What Makes a Successful Child? 10 Family Income 153 11 Working Parents 161 12 Parenting and Parents' Mental Health 169 13 Family Conflict 179 14 Schooling 187 Part III So What? 15 Measuring Cost-Effectiveness in Terms of Happiness 197 16 The Origins of Happiness 211 Our Thanks 235 Contents of Online Materials 237 Sources and Notes for Tables and Figures 239 Notes 257 References 281 Index 301 Cartoon Credits 325

About the Author

Andrew E. Clark is a full research professor at the Paris School of Economics. Sarah Fleche is a research economist at the London School of Economics. Richard Layard is emeritus professor of economics at the London School of Economics and a member of the House of Lords. He is the coauthor of Thrive (Princeton) and Happiness. Nattavudh Powdthavee is professor of behavioural science at Warwick Business School. He is the author of The Happiness Equation. George Ward is a PhD candidate in behavioral science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All of the authors are members of the Wellbeing Programme at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic Performance.


"The Origins of Happiness is a wonderful book. It presents a new look at what causes human well-being, and carefully analyzes the policies and programs that can enhance it."--Ed Diener, coauthor of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
"Rooted in the best-available evidence for each stage in life, The Origins of Happiness provides an ambitious and comprehensive analysis of what leads to a satisfying life, from childhood to old age."--Alan Krueger, Princeton University
"If policymakers want to improve lives, it is important to understand how people feel--and why. This book charts new territory, providing the first map of the long-term drivers of people's happiness. Along the way, it highlights both familiar and more groundbreaking routes to progress. There are helpful signposts in here for all those seeking different and better paths to advance people's well-being."--Martine Durand, chief statistician and director of statistics of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
"This book--written by several masters in the field--brings our knowledge of well-being to a new level. It demonstrates how experiences and emotions in the early years link to adult outcomes, and highlights the importance of parental well-being to that of children. The authors provide new metrics for designing and assessing policies that can affect the welfare of millions of people throughout the course of their lives. This work is a must-read for the academic, policymaker, and informed citizen alike."--Carol Graham, author of Happiness for All? Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream
"The most significant contribution of The Origins of Happiness lies in its integrated approach to life satisfaction over the life cycle. The authors combine cohort studies, longitudinal panels, and cross-section surveys to provide fuller perspectives. No one else has done this in such a systematic way."--John F. Helliwell, University of British Columbia

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