Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 119–136

A conversation with Richard Easterlin

  • Diane J. Macunovich


After an introduction touching on various biographical highlights, this paper summarizes a wide-ranging discussion with Richard Easterlin which occurred in the Autumn of 1996. We considered the Easterlin Hypothesis – its genesis and current status, together with Easterlin‘s views on attempts to develop measures of relative income – and then moved on to “The Fertility Revolution” and questions regarding the applicability of the theory of household choice in modernizing societies. This was followed by a discussion of his early career development and influences on him at that time, ending with ruminations regarding the current state of economics, and the validity of training given to young economists today.

JEL classification: J10, J11, J13

Key words: Easterlin relative income demographic transition fertility mortality baby boom demographic cycles 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane J. Macunovich
    • 1
  1. 1.Williams College, Department of Economics, Fernald House, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA (phone: (413) 597-2471, fax: (413)597-4045, e-mail:

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