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June 25, 2008

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Matthew Pianalto

Yeah, but the problem is that in the snippet there's a shift from comparing us now to people 100 years ago, to comparing the +$150,000 group to the "bottom 10%". Those aren't the same comparisons, and the Easterlin paradox is about the first not the second. No kidding that well-off people are happier than the bottom 10%--for precisely the reasons she mentions.

No one ever denied that money prevents the misery of poverty! The more interesting question is whether the, say, lower-middle class (whatever $ range that picks out) is happier than the upper...(and you have to control for the effect of social comparison...)

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