September 22, 2007


Study: Is Economic Wealth Linked with Happiness?

Keywords: Government University / Research institute Well-Being 

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) of the Cabinet Office of Japan released a report entitled "Study on Happiness; Subjective Well-being and Economic Growth" in May 2007.

Since the end of World War II Japan's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has risen several times but the public sense of happiness has not grown as much. Why? Seeking the answer to the question, the ESRI reexamined the qualitative content of people's subjective sense of happiness and studied the possibility of boosting subjective well-being in tandem with economic growth.

Dividing sense of happiness into three aspects, "expected happiness for the future," "happiness felt through satisfaction with current life conditions" and "happiness felt with economic affluence," the ESRI conducted an Internet survey to test the hypothesis that "expected happiness" is a sense of well-being linked with macro-economic and other social indicators.

The results demonstrated that "expected happiness" is linked with social macro indicators including economic growth. They also suggested that the perception that one's own image of personal "prestige" matches the perception that others hold of the person, and that "expected happiness" is likely to be boosted by "time density" of quality time (the percentage of quality time per day whether at work or at leisure).


Posted: 2007/09/22 08:10:30 AM
Japanese version