Philosophers from Aristotle to the Beatles have argued that money does not buy happiness. But it seems to help. Since 2005 Gallup, a pollster, has asked a representative sample of adults from countries across the world to rate their life satisfaction on a scale from zero to ten. The headline result is clear: the richer the country, on average, the higher the level of self-reported happiness. The simple correlation suggests that doubling GDP per person lifts life satisfaction by about 0.7 points.
Yet the prediction that as a country gets richer its mood will improve has a dubious record. In 1974 Richard Easterlin, an economist, discovered that average life satisfaction in America had stagnated between 1946 and 1970 even as GDP per person had grown by 65% over the same period. He went on to find a similar disconnect in other places, too. Although income is correlated with happiness when looking across countries—and although economic downturns are reliable sources of temporary misery—long-term GDP growth does not seem to be enough to turn the average frown upside-down.
The Economist | Dismal science https://www.economist.com/node/21761680?frsc=dg%7Ce