What's on England's Mind Today, Part 1 (National Happiness)

Britain will soon begin "measuring people's psychological and environmental well-being" -- i.e., their happiness.

The Parent Trap: Addiction

Shankar Vedantam of Slate hypothesizes that people continue to procreate, despite overwhelming evidence that parenting isn't very fun, for much the same reason that cocaine users can't quit: they're addicts.

Subjective Well-Being Inside the Obama Administration

An interesting observation about the potential policy impact of "happiness economics" in this weekend's Financial Times from the always-astute Tim Harford...

The Upside of Irrationality

Another pleasurable summer read for me was Dan Ariely's The Upside of Irrationality. Put simply, the book is an impressive achievement. It interweaves Ariely's compelling personal narrative with what seems like dozens of his own super-interesting academic experiments. Ariely explains how his own struggle with being severely burned as a youth put him on the path to being one of the world's premier behavioral economists.

The Black-White Happiness Gap: Large, but Narrowing

There's a lot of talk about race these days. But high-frequency chatter can obscure some of the more important longer-term trends shaping the lives of African-Americans. Which is why Betsey Stevenson and I turn to the data, in a new paper, "Subjective and Objective Indicators of Racial Happiness."

The Magic Income Number

What's the magic income number? According to Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman, it's about $75,000, at least when it comes to day-to-day happiness.

Does It Pay to Be Optimistic?

According to a new working paper by Ron Kaniel, Cade Massey, and David T. Robinson (abstract here; PDF here), the answer is yes, at least if you're an MBA student looking for a job.

A Year Without Unhappiness?

A year without lying followed by a year without unhappiness.

The Paradox of Parenting

Parents don't seem to enjoy parenting.

Happy in Jersey

Asian-Americans in New Jersey are America's happiest people.