Sunday, July 5, 2009

Interesting Research: Happiness on Venus is Falling Relative to Mars

Brilliant paper titled The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers (UofPennsylvania) (see here) is tackling a paradoxical development of the last 35 years, whereby although "objective measures of lives of women in the US have improved... measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men." If you think this stuff is esoteric (albeit very exciting) research, you are wrong. Remember - academics flash out paradoxes, but politicians devise pork-laden policies aiming at 'addressing' such paradoxes. Hence, authors' claim that: "The paradox of women's declining relative well-being is found across various data sets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging - one with higher subjective well-being for me." So that will be a new round of subsidies for closing an emerging new gender gap, then? Women are now relatively poor in terms of happiness than men... someone, quick, call the CORI!

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