Happiness and Economic Inequality – Evaluating the Effects of National Inequality on Levels of Happiness

Open Access
Kannell, Daniel Alexander
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • David Shapiro, Thesis Supervisor
  • Russell Paul Chuderewicz, Honors Advisor
  • economics
  • economic
  • inequality
  • happiness
This paper will analyze the field of happiness economics and its impact on the economics discipline and today’s policy. Further, this paper will study the effects that economic inequality has on happiness. After analyzing various data, it is determined that economic inequality is not significantly correlated with happiness across all countries. For the wealthiest countries, there is a significant negative correlation between inequality and happiness. The result is that economic inequality reduction would not appear to have any intrinsic effect on boosting happiness for countries without sufficiently high income. Once nations reach sufficiently high income, only then is there a significant incentive to reduce inequality.