Social Indicators Research

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 511–548 | Cite as

The Wealth of Nations and the Happiness of Nations: Why “Accounting” Matters

  • Marne L. Arthaud-day
  • Janet P. NearEmail author


We review income-happiness research in light of competing theoretical frameworks, unit of analysis, and methodological issues. Within-countries, absolute income is weakly related to happiness, comparison effects depend on the measure utilized, and income change and perceived income produce inconsistent findings. Across countries, absolute income is a stronger predictor of happiness, different comparison effects are significant, income change results are predominantly positive, and the financial-life satisfaction relationship is more robust.

Key words

happiness income life satisfaction national well-being subjective well-being 


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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management Kelly School of BusinessIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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