Re: MD economics of want and greed 4

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Thu Aug 28 2003 - 14:42:01 BST

  • Next message: Ian Glendinning: "RE: MD economics of want and greed 4"

    Dear Wim,

    > Do you happen to know about a body of research of 'happiness' in
    > different populations all over the world taking (approximately) Maslow's
    > categories of needs as basis and trying to measure their relative levels
    > of satisfaction?

    In 1996, Scientific American published the results of studies of
    happiness throughout the world conducted by the National Opinion
    Research Center, the Institute for Social Research, the Gallup
    Organization and U.S. government sponsored studies of European
    Countries. Although not directly related to Maslow's categories of
    needs, you may find the results interesting.

    For instance, "People are happier than one might expect, and happiness
    does not appear to depend significantly on external circumstances."

    Other findings:

    "We have found that the even distribution of happiness cuts across
    almost all demographic classifications of age, economic class, race and
    education level."

    "People in disadvantaged groups maintain self-esteem by valuing things
    at which they excel, by making comparisons within their own groups and
    by blaming problems on external sources such as prejudice."

    "Wealth is a poor predictor of happiness. People have not become
    happier over time as their cultures have become more affluent."

    "Those who income increased over a 10-year period are not happier than
    those whose income is stagnant."

    "Are people in rich countries happier, by and large, than people in not
    so rich countries? It appears in general that they are, but the margin
    may be slim. In Portugal, for example, only one in 10 people reports
    being very happy, whereas in the much more prosperous Netherlands the
    proportion of very happy people is four in 10. Yet there are curious
    reversals in this correlation between national wealth and well-being--
    the Irish during the 1980's consistently reported greater life
    satisfaction than the wealthier West Germans. Furthermore, other
    factors, such as civil rights, literacy and duration of democratic
    government, all of which also promote reported life satisfaction, tend
    to go hand in hand with national wealth."

    Best regards,


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