[Paleopsych] How not to buy happiness by Robert H. Frank, pp. 69-79

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How not to buy happiness by Robert H. Frank, pp. 69-79

[How it happens that the increase in conspicuous goods just balances out 
the increase in inconspicuous goods is not explained. The article is a 
good introduction to ideas Bob has been expounding at least since 1985. I 
recommend more his _Choosing the Right Pond_, which I reviewed for _Public 
Choice_, and _Passions within Reason.]

    An enduring paradox in the literature on human happiness is that
    although the rich are significantly happier than the poor within any
    country at any moment, average happiness levels change very little as
    peoples incomes rise in tandem over time.^[18]1 Richard Easterlin and
    others have interpreted these observations to mean that happiness
    depends on relative rather than absolute income.^[19]2
    In this essay I offer a slightly different interpretation of the
    evidencenamely, that gains in happiness that might have been expected
    to result from growth in absolute income have not materialized because
    of the ways in which people in affluent societies have generally spent
    their incomes.
    In effect, I wish to propose two different answers to the question
    Does money buy happiness? Considerable evidence suggests that if we
    use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger
    houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than
    before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of
    certain inconspicuous goodssuch as freedom from a long commute or a
    stressful jobthen the evidence paints a very different picture. The
    less we spend on conspicuous consumption goods, the better we can
    afford to alleviate congestion; and the more time we can devote to
    family and friends, to exercise, sleep, travel, and other restorative
    activities. On the best available evidence, reallocating our time and
    money in these and similar ways would result in healthier, longer and
    The main method that psychologists have used to measure human
    well-being has been to conduct surveys in which they ask people
    whether they are: a) very happy; b) fairly happy; or c) not
    happy.^[20]3 Most respondents are willing to answer the question, and
    not all of them respond very happy, even in the United States, where
    one might think it advantageous to portray oneself as being very
    happy. Many people describe themselves as fairly happy, and others
    confess to being not happy. A given persons response tends to be
    consistent from one survey to the next.
    Happiness surveys and a variety of other measures employed by
    psychologists are strongly correlated with observable behaviors that
    we associate with well-being.^[21]4 If youre happy, for example, youre
    more likely to initiate social contact with friends. Youre more likely
    to respond positively when others ask you for help. Youre less likely
    to suffer from psychosomatic illnessesdigestive disorders, other
    stress disorders, headaches, vascular stress. Youre less likely to be
    absent from work or to get involved in disputes at work. And youre
    less likely to attempt suicidethe ultimate behavioral measure of
    unhappiness. In sum, it appears that human happiness is a real
    phenomenon that we can measure.^[22]5
    How does happiness vary with income? As noted earlier, studies show
    that when incomes rise for everybody, well-being doesnt change much.
    Consider the example of Japan, which was a very poor country in 1960.
    Between then and the late 1980s, its per capita income rose almost
    four-fold, placing it among the highest in the industrialized world.
    Yet the average happiness level reported by the Japanese was no higher
    in 1987 than in 1960.^[23]6 They had many more washing machines, cars,
    cameras, and other things than they used to, but they did not register
    significant gains on the happiness scale.
    The same pattern consistently shows up in other countries as well, and
    thats a puzzle for economists. If getting more income doesnt make
    people happier, why do they go to such lengths to get more income?
    Why, for example, do tobacco company CEOs endure the public
    humiliation of testifying before Congress that theres no evidence that
    smoking causes serious illnesses?
    It turns out that if we measure the income-happiness relationship in
    another way, we get just what the economists suspected all along. When
    we plot average happiness versus average income for clusters of people
    in a given country at a given time, we see that rich people are in
    fact much happier than poor people. In one study based on U.S. data,
    for example, people in the top decile of the income distribution
    averaged more than five points higher on a ten-point happiness scale
    than people in the bottom decile.^[24]7
    The evidence thus suggests that if income affects happiness, it is
    relative, not absolute, income that matters. Some social scientists
    who have pondered the significance of these patterns have concluded
    that, at least for people in the worlds richest countries, no useful
    purpose is served by further accumulations of wealth.^[25]8
    On its face, this should be a surprising conclusion, since there are
    so many seemingly useful things that having additional wealth would
    enable us to do. Would we really not be any happier if, say, the
    environment were a little cleaner, or if we could take a little more
    time off, or even just eliminate a few of the hassles of everyday
    life? In principle at least, people in wealthier countries have these
    additional options, and it should surprise us that this seems to have
    no measurable effect on their overall wellbeing.
    There is indeed independent evidence that having more wealth would be
    a good thing, provided it were spent in certain ways. The key insight
    supported by this evidence is that even though we appear to adapt
    quickly to across-the-board increases in our stocks of most material
    goods, there are specific categories in which our capacity to adapt is
    more limited. Additional spending in these categories appears to have
    the greatest capacity to produce significant improvements in
    The human capacity to adapt to dramatic changes in life circumstances
    is impressive. Asked to choose, most people state confidently that
    they would rather be killed in an automobile accident than to survive
    as a quadriplegic. And so we are not surprised to learn that severely
    disabled people experience a period of devastating depression and
    disorientation in the wake of their accidents. What we do not expect,
    however, are the speed and extent to which many of these victims
    accommodate to their new circumstances. Within a years time, many
    quadriplegics report roughly the same mix of moods and emotions as
    able-bodied people do.^[26]9 There is also evidence that the blind,
    the retarded, and the malformed are far better adapted to the
    limitations imposed by their conditions than most of us might
    We adapt swiftly not just to losses but also to gains. Ads for the New
    York State Lottery show participants fantasizing about how their lives
    would change if they won. (Id buy the company and fire my boss.)
    People who actually win the lottery typically report the anticipated
    rush of euphoria in the weeks after their good fortune. Follow-up
    studies done after several years, however, indicate that these people
    are often no happier and indeed, are in some ways less happythan
    In short, our extraordinary powers of adaptation appear to help
    explain why absolute living standards simply may not matter much once
    we escape the physical deprivations of abject poverty. This
    interpretation is consistent with the impressions of people who have
    lived or traveled extensively abroad, who report that the struggle to
    get ahead seems to play out with much the same psychological effects
    in rich societies as in those with more modest levels of
    These observations provide grist for the mills of social critics who
    are offended by the apparent wastefulness of the recent
    luxury-consumption boom in the United States. What many of these
    critics typically overlook, however, is that the power to adapt is a
    two-edged sword. It may indeed explain why having bigger houses and
    faster cars doesnt make us any happier; but if we can also adapt fully
    to the seemingly unpleasant things we often have to endure to get more
    money, then whats the problem? Perhaps social critics are simply
    barking up the wrong tree.
    I believe, however, that to conclude that absolute living standards do
    not matter is a serious misreading of the evidence. What the data seem
    to say is that as national income grows, people do not spend their
    extra money in ways that yield significant and lasting increases in
    measured satisfaction. But this still leaves two possible ways that
    absolute income might matter. One is that people might have been able
    to spend their money in other ways that would have made them happier,
    yet for various reasons they did not, or could not, do so. I will
    describe presently some evidence that strongly supports this
    The second possibility is that although measures of subjective
    well-being may do a reasonably good job of tracking our experiences as
    we are consciously aware of them, that may not be all that matters to
    us. For example, imagine two parallel universes, one just like the one
    we live in now and another in which everyones income is twice what it
    is now. Suppose that in both cases you would be the median earner,
    with an annual income of $100,000 in one case and $200,000 in the
    other. Suppose further that you would feel equally happy in the two
    universes an assumption that is consistent with the evidence discussed
    thus far. And suppose, finally, that you know that people in the
    richer universe would spend more to protect the environment from toxic
    waste, and that this would result in healthier and longer, even if not
    happier, lives for all. Can there be any question that it would be
    better to live in the richer universe?
    My point is that although the emerging science of subjective
    well-being has much to tell us about the factors that contribute to
    human satisfaction, not even its most ardent practitioners would
    insist that it offers the final word. Whether growth in national
    income is, or could be, a generally good thing is a question that will
    have to be settled by the evidence.
    And there is in fact a rich body of evidence that bears on this
    question. One clear message of this evidence is that, beyond some
    point, across-the-board increases in spending on many types of
    material goods do not produce any lasting increment in subjective
    well-being. Sticking with the parallel-universes metaphor, let us
    imagine people from two societies, identical in every respect save
    one: in society A everyone lives in a house with 4,000 square feet of
    floor space, whereas in society B each house has only 3,000 square
    feet. If the two societies were completely isolated from one another,
    there is no evidence to suggest that psychologists and neuroscientists
    would be able to discern any significant difference in their
    respective average levels of subjective well-being. Rather, we would
    expect each society to have developed its own local norm for what
    constitutes adequate housing, and that people in each society would
    therefore be equally satisfied with their houses and other aspects of
    their lives.
    Moreover, we have no reason to suppose that there would be other
    important respects in which it might be preferable to be a member of
    society A rather than society B. Thus the larger houses in society A
    would not contribute to longer lives, more freedom from illness, or
    indeed any other significant advantage over the members of society B.
    Once house size achieves a given threshold, the human capacity to
    adapt to further across-the-board changes in house size would appear
    to be virtually complete.
    Of course, it takes real resources to build larger houses. A society
    that built 4,000-square-foot houses for everyone could have built
    3,000-square-foot houses instead, freeing up considerable resources
    that could have been used to produce something else. Hence this
    central question: Are there alternative ways of spending these
    resources that could have produced lasting gains in human welfare?
    An affirmative answer would be logically impossible if our capacity to
    adapt to every other possible change were as great as our capacity to
    adapt to larger houses. As it turns out, however, our capacity to
    adapt varies considerably across domains. There are some stimuli, such
    as environmental noise, to which we may adapt relatively quickly at a
    conscious level, yet to which our bodies continue to respond in
    measurable ways even after many years of exposure. And there are
    stimuli to which we never adapt over time but rather become
    sensitized; various biochemical allergens are examples, but we also
    see instances on a more macro scale. Thus, after several months
    exposure, the office boor who initially took two weeks to annoy you
    can accomplish the same feat in only seconds.
    The observation that we adapt more fully to some stimuli than to
    others opens the possibility that moving resources from one category
    to another might yield lasting changes in well-being. Considerable
    evidence bears on this possibility.
    A convenient way to examine this evidence is to consider a sequence of
    thought experiments in which you must choose between two hypothetical
    societies. The two societies have equal wealth levels but different
    spending patterns. In each case, let us again suppose that residents
    of society A live in 4,000- square-foot houses while those of society
    B live in 3,000-square-foot houses.
    In each case, the residents of society B use the resources saved by
    building smaller houses to bring about some other specific change in
    their living conditions. In the first thought experiment, I will
    review in detail what the evidence says about how that change would
    affect the quality of their lives. In the succeeding examples, I will
    simply state the relevant conclusions and refer to supporting evidence
    published elsewhere.
    Which would you choose: society A, whose residents have
    4,000-square-foot houses and a one-hour automobile commute to work
    through heavy traffic; or society B, whose residents have-3,000
    square-foot houses and a fifteen-minute commute by rapid transit?
    Let us suppose that the cost savings from building smaller houses are
    sufficient to fund not only the construction of high-speed public
    transit, but also to make the added flexibility of the automobile
    available on an as-needed basis. Thus, as a resident of society B, you
    need not give up your car. You can drive it to work on those days when
    you need extra flexibility, or you can come and go when needed by
    taxi. The only thing you and others must sacrifice to achieve the
    shorter daily commute of society B is additional floor space in your
    A rational person faced with this choice will want to consider the
    available evidence on the costs and benefits of each alternative. As
    concerns the psychological cost of living in smaller houses, the
    evidence provides no reason to believe that if you and all others live
    in 3,000-square-foot houses, your subjective well-being will be any
    lower than if you and all others live in 4,000-square-foot houses. Of
    course, if you moved from society B to society A, you might be
    pleased, even excited, at first to experience the additional living
    space. But we can predict that in time you would adapt and simply
    consider the larger house the norm.
    Someone who moved from society B to society A would also initially
    experience stress from the extended commute through heavy traffic.
    Over time, his consciousness of this stress might diminish. But there
    is an important distinction: unlike his essentially complete
    adaptation to the larger house, his adaptation to his new commuting
    pattern will be only partial. Available evidence clearly shows that,
    even after long periods of adjustment, most people experience the task
    of navigating through heavy commuter traffic as stressful.^[30]13
    In this respect, the effect of exposure to heavy traffic is similar to
    the effect of exposure to noise and other irritants. Thus, even though
    a large increase in background noise at a constant, steady level is
    experienced as less intrusive as time passes, prolonged exposure
    nonetheless produces lasting elevations in blood pressure.^[31]14 If
    the noise is not only loud but intermittent, people remain conscious
    of their heightened irritability even after extended periods of
    adaptation, and their symptoms of central nervous system distress
    become more pronounced.^[32]15 This pattern was seen, for example, in
    a study of people living next to a newly opened noisy highway. Four
    months after the highway opened, 21 percent of residents interviewed
    said they were not annoyed by the noise, but that figure dropped to 16
    percent when the same residents were interviewed a year later.^[33]16
    Among the various types of noise exposure, worst of all is exposure to
    sounds that are not only loud and intermittent, but also unpredictably
    so. Subjects exposed to such noise in the laboratory experience not
    only physiological symptoms of stress, but also behavioral symptoms.
    They become less persistent in their attempts to cope with frustrating
    tasks, and suffer measurable impairments in performing tasks requiring
    care and attention.^[34]17
    Unpredictable noise may be particularly stressful because it confronts
    the subject with a loss of control. David Glass and his collaborators
    confirmed this hypothesis in an ingenious experiment that exposed two
    groups of subjects to a recording of loud unpredictable noises.
    Whereas subjects in one group had no control over the recording,
    subjects in the other group could stop the tape at any time by
    flipping a switch. These subjects were told, however, that the
    experimenters would prefer that they not stop the tape, and most
    subjects honored this preference. Following exposure to the noise,
    subjects with access to the control switch made almost 60 percent
    fewer errors than the other subjects on a proofreading task and made
    more than four times as many attempts to solve a difficult
    Commuting through heavy traffic is in many ways more like exposure to
    loud unpredictable noise than to constant background noise. Delays are
    difficult to predict, much less control, and one never quite gets used
    to being cut off by drivers who think their time is more valuable than
    anyone elses. A large scientific literature documents a multitude of
    stress symptoms that result from protracted driving through heavy
    One strand in this literature focuses on the experience of urban bus
    drivers, whose exposure to the stresses of heavy traffic is higher
    than that of most commuters, but who have also had greater opportunity
    to adapt to those stresses. A disproportionate share of the
    absenteeism of urban bus drivers stems from stress-related illnesses
    such as gastrointestinal problems, headaches, and anxiety.^[36]19 Many
    studies have found sharply elevated rates of hypertension among bus
    drivers relative to those of a variety of control groups, including a
    control group of bus drivers pre-employment.^[37]20 Additional studies
    have found elevations of stress hormones such as adrenaline,
    noradrenaline, and cortisol in urban bus drivers.^[38]21 And one study
    found elevations of adrenaline and noradrenaline to be strongly
    positively correlated with the density of the traffic with which the
    bus drivers had to contend.^[39]22 More than half of all urban bus
    drivers retire prematurely with some form of medical
    A one-hour daily commute through heavy traffic is presumably less
    stressful than operating a bus all day in an urban area. Yet this
    difference is one of degree rather than of kind. Studies have shown
    that the demands of commuting through heavy traffic often result in
    emotional and behavioral deficits upon arrival at home or work.^[41]24
    Compared to drivers who commute through low-density traffic, those who
    commute through heavy traffic are more likely to report feelings of
    annoyance.^[42]25 And higher levels of commuting distance, time, and
    speed are significantly positively correlated with increased systolic
    and diastolic blood pressure.^[43]26
    The prolonged experience of commuting stress is also known to suppress
    immune function and shorten longevity.^[44]27 Even daily spells in
    traffic as brief as fifteen minutes have been linked to significant
    elevations of blood glucose and cholesterol, and to declines in blood
    coagulation timeall factors that are positively associated with
    cardiovascular disease. Commuting by automobile is also positively
    linked with the incidence of various cancers, especially cancer of the
    lung, possibly because of heavier exposure to exhaust fumes.^[45]28
    The incidence of these and other illnesses rises with the length of
    commute,^[46]29 and is significantly lower among those who commute by
    bus or rail,^[47]30 and lower still among noncommuters. ^[48]31
    Finally, the risk of death and injury from accidents varies positively
    with the length of commute and is higher for those who commute by car
    than for those who commute by public transport.
    In sum, there appear to be persistent and significant costs associated
    with a long commute through heavy traffic. We can be confident that
    neurophysiologists would find higher levels of cortisol,
    norepinephrine, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and other stress hormones
    in the residents of society A. No one has done the experiment to
    discover whether people from society A would report lower levels of
    life satisfaction than people from society B, but since we know that
    drivers often report being consciously aware of the frustration and
    stress they experience during commuting, it is a plausible conjecture
    that subjective well-being, as conventionally measured, would be lower
    in society A. Even if the negative effects of commuting stress never
    broke through into conscious awareness, however, we would still have
    powerful reasons for wishing to escape them.
    On the strength of the available evidence, then, it appears that a
    rational person would have powerful reasons to choose society B, and
    no reasons to avoid it. And yet, despite this evidence, the United
    States is moving steadily in the direction of society A. Even as our
    houses continue to grow in size, the average length of our commute to
    work continues to grow longer. Between 1982 and 2000, for example, the
    time penalty for peak-period travelers increased from 16 to 62 hours
    per year; the daily window of time during which travelers might
    experience congestion increased from 4.5 to 7 hours; and the volume of
    roadways where travel is congested grew from 34 to 58 percent.^[49]32
    The Federal Highway Administration predicts that the extra time spent
    driving because of delays will rise from 2.7 billion vehicle hours in
    1985 to 11.9 billion in 2005.^[50]33
    Table 1
    Four thought experiments: the conspicuous consumption of society A
    versus the inconspicuous consumption of society B
    Society A Society B
    1 Everyone lives in 4,000-square-foot houses and has no free time for
    exercise each day. 1 Everyone lives in 3,000-square-foot houses and
    has 45 minutes available for exercise each day.
    2 Everyone lives in 4,000-square-foot houses and has time to get
    together with friends one evening each month. 2 Everyone lives in
    3,000-square-foot houses and has time to get together with friends
    four evenings each month.
    3 Everyone lives in 4,000-square-foot houses and has one week of
    vacation each year. 3 Everyone lives in 3,000-square-foot houses and
    has four weeks of vacation each year.
    4 Everyone lives in 4,000-square-foot houses and has a relatively low
    level of personal autonomy in the workplace. 4 Everyone lives in
    3,000-square-foot houses and has a relatively high level of personal
    autonomy in the workplace.
    Table 1 lists four similar thought experiments that ask you to choose
    between societies that offer different combinations of material goods
    and free time to pursue other activities. Each case assumes a specific
    use of the free time and asks that you imagine it to be one that
    appeals to you (if not, feel free to substitute some other activity
    that does).
    The choice in each of these thought experiments is one between
    conspicuous consumption (in the form of larger houses) and what, for
    want of a better term, I shall call inconspicuous consumption freedom
    from traffic congestion, time with family and friends, vacation time,
    and a variety of favorable job characteristics. In each case the
    evidence suggests that subjective well-being will be higher in the
    society with a greater balance of inconspicuous consumption. ^[51]34
    And yet in each case the actual trend in U.S. consumption patterns has
    been in the reverse direction.
    The list of inconspicuous consumption items could be extended
    considerably. Thus we could ask whether living in slightly smaller
    houses would be a reasonable price to pay for higher air quality, for
    more urban parkland, for cleaner drinking water, for a reduction in
    violent crime, or for medical research that would reduce premature
    death. And in each case the answer would be the same as in the cases
    we have considered thus far.
    My point in the thought experiments is not that inconspicuous
    consumption is always preferable to conspicuous consumption. Indeed,
    in each case we might envision a minority of rational individuals who
    might choose society A over society B. Some people may simply dislike
    autonomy on the job, or dislike exercise, or dislike spending time
    with family and friends. But if we accept that there is little
    sacrifice in subjective well-being when all have slightly smaller
    houses, the real question is whether a rational person could find some
    more productive use for the resources thus saved. Given the absolute
    sizes of the houses involved in the thought experiments, the answer to
    this question would seem to be yes.
    It might seem natural to suppose that when per capita income rises
    sharply, as it has in most countries since at least the end of World
    War II, most people would spend more on both conspicuous and
    inconspicuous consumption. In many instances, this is in fact what
    seems to have happened. Thus the cars we buy today are not only faster
    and more luxuriously equipped, but also safer and more reliable. If
    both forms of consumption have been rising, however, and if
    inconspicuous consumption boosts subjective well-being, then why has
    subjective well-being not increased during the last several decades?
    A plausible answer is that whereas some forms of inconspicuous
    consumption have been rising, others have been declining, often
    sharply. There have been increases in the annual number of hours spent
    at work in the United States during the last two decades; traffic has
    grown considerably more congested; savings rates have fallen
    precipitously; personal bankruptcy filings are at an alltime high; and
    there is at least a widespread perception that employment security and
    autonomy have fallen sharply. Declines in these and other forms of
    inconspicuous consumption may well have offset the effects of
    increases in others.
    The more troubling question is why we have not used our resources more
    wisely. If we could all live healthier, longer, and more satisfying
    lives by simply changing our spending patterns, why havent we done
    As even the most ardent free-market economists have long recognized,
    the invisible hand cannot be expected to deliver the greatest good for
    all in cases in which each individuals well-being depends on the
    actions taken by others with whom he does not interact directly. This
    qualification was once thought important in only a limited number of
    arenas most importantly, activities that generate environmental
    pollution. We now recognize, however, that the interdependencies among
    us are considerably more pervasive. For present purposes, chief among
    them are the ways in which the spending decisions of some individuals
    affect the frames of reference within which others make important
    Many important rewards in lifeaccess to the best schools, to the most
    desirable mates, and even, in times of famine, to the food needed for
    survival depend critically on how the choices we make compare to the
    choices made by others. In most cases, the person who stays at the
    office two hours longer each day to be able to afford a house in a
    better school district has no conscious intention to make it more
    difficult for others to achieve the same goal. Yet that is an
    inescapable consequence of his action. The best response available to
    others may be to work longer hours as well, thereby to preserve their
    current positions. Yet the ineluctable mathematical logic of musical
    chairs assures that only 10 percent of all children can occupy
    top-decile school seats, no matter how many hours their parents work.
    That many purchases become more attractive to us when others make them
    means that consumption spending has much in common with a military
    arms race. A family can choose how much of its own money to spend, but
    it cannot choose how much others spend. Buying a smaller-than-average
    vehicle means greater risk of dying in an accident. Spending less on
    an interview suit means a greater risk of not landing the best job.
    Yet when all spend more on heavier cars and more finely tailored
    suits, the results tend to be mutually offsetting, just as when all
    nations spend more on armaments. Spending less on bombs or on personal
    consumption frees up money for other pressing uses, but only if
    everyone does it.
    What, exactly, is the incentive problem that leads nations to spend
    too much on armaments? It is not sufficient merely that each nations
    payoff from spending on arms depends on how its spending compares with
    that of rival nations. Suppose, for example, that each nations payoff
    from spending on nonmilitary goods also depended, to the same extent
    as for military goods, on the amounts spent on nonmilitary goods by
    other nations. The tendency of military spending to siphon off
    resources from other spending categories would then be offset by an
    equal tendency in the opposite direction. That is, if each nation had
    a fixed amount of national income to allocate between military and
    nonmilitary goods, and if the payoffs in each category were equally
    context sensitive, then we would expect no imbalance across the
    For an imbalance to occur in favor of armaments, the reward from
    armaments spending must be more context sensitive than the reward from
    nonmilitary spending. And since this is precisely the case, the
    generally assumed imbalance occurs. After all, to be second best in a
    military arms race often means a loss of political autonomyclearly a
    much higher cost than the discomfort of having toasters with fewer
    In brief, we expect an imbalance in the choice between two activities
    if the individual rewards from one are more context sensitive than the
    individual rewards from the other. The evidence described earlier
    suggests that the satisfaction provided by many conspicuous forms of
    consumption is more context sensitive than the satisfaction provided
    by many less conspicuous forms of consumption. If so, this would help
    explain why the absolute income and consumption increases of recent
    decades have failed to translate into corresponding increases in
    measured well-being.

    ^1 This paper draws heavily on chapters 5 and 6 of my book Luxury
    Fever (New York: The Free Press, 1999). [52]BACK
    ^2 Richard Easterlin, Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? in
    Nations and Households in Economic Growth: Essays in Honor of Moses
    Abramovitz, ed. Paul David and Melvin Reder (New York: Academic Press,
    1974), and Richard Easterlin, Will Raising the Incomes of All Increase
    the Happiness of All? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 27
    (1995): 3547. [53]BACK
    ^3 See Easterlin, Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? [54]BACK
    ^4 For surveys of this evidence, see chapter 2 of Robert H. Frank,
    Choosing the Right Pond (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985) and
    Andrew Clark and Andrew Oswald, Satisfaction and Comparison Income,
    Journal of Public Economics 61 (1996): 359381. [55]BACK
    ^5 Ed Diener and Richard E. Lucas, Personality and Subjective
    Well-Being, in Understanding Well-Being: Scientific Perspectives on
    Enjoyment and Suffering, ed. Daniel Kahneman, Ed Diener, and Norbert
    Schwartz (New York: The Russell Sage Foundation, 1998). [56]BACK
    ^6 Ruut Veenhoven, Happiness in Nations (Rotterdam: Erasmus
    University, 1993). [57]BACK
    ^7 Ed Diener, Ed Sandvik, Larry Seidlitz, and Marissa Diener, The
    Relationship Between Income and Subjective Well-Being: Relative or
    Absolute? Social Indicators Research 28 (1993): 195223. [58]BACK
    ^8 See, for example, Peter Townsend, The Development of Research on
    Poverty, in Social Security Research: The Definition and Measurement
    of Poverty (London: hmso, 1979). [59]BACK
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    ^23 Gary W. Evans, Working on the Hot Seat: Urban Bus Drivers,
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    ^26 Ibid., table 3. [77]BACK
    ^27 Anita DeLongis, Susan Folkman, and Richard S. Lazarus, The Impact
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    as Mediators, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54 (1988):
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    ^28 Koslowsky et al., Commuting Stress, chap. 4. [79]BACK
    ^29 Koslowsky et al., Commuting Stress. [80]BACK
    ^30 P. Taylor and C. Pocock, Commuter Travel and Sickness: Absence of
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    ^31 European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working
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    Safety and Health of the Community/ Workers (Dublin: European
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    ^32 David Schrank and Tim Lomax, [83]The 2002 Urban Mobility Report,
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    ^33 Charles S. Clark, Traffic Congestion, The CQ Researcher, 6 May
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    ^34 For a detailed survey of the supporting studies, see Frank, Luxury
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   16. http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/author/default.asp?sid=FC596BED-A5E6-4DCB-AF4C-877A3AC9F14D&aid=23231
   17. http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/pdf/daed_133_2_69_0.pdf
   83. http://mobility.tamu.edu/

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