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Richard A. Easterlin
Born 1926
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, United States
Nationality American
Institution University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
Field Econometrics, Demography, demographic economics, Economic growth, Happiness economics, Economic history
Alma mater Stevens Institute of Technology (M.E.)
University of Pennsylvania (M.A., Ph.D.)
Influences Simon Kuznets, Dorothy Thomas
Influenced Eileen Crimmins
Contributions Easterlin hypothesis, Easterlin paradox, Happiness economics

Richard Ainley Easterlin (born 1926) is University Professor and Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California.

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association and a Member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Easterlin is also a former Guggenheim Fellow and a past president of both the Population Association of America and the Economic History Association.

Early life and education[edit]

Easterlin was born in Ridgefield Park of New Jersey in 1926.

He studied engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology and graduated with a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction in 1945. He then completed a Master of Arts in Economics in 1949 and his Doctor of Philosophy in Economics in 1953 both at the University of Pennsylvania.

He became interested in demography and population studies through his participation as a Research Associate from 1953 to 1955 in the landmark Study of population Redistribution and Economic Growth in the United States conducted by Simon Kuznets and Dorothy Thomas.

Academic career[edit]

Whilst completing his postgraduate studies, Easterlin worked as Instructor from 1948 to 1953 at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his Doctor of Philosophy he became an Assistant Professor of Economics from 1953 to 1956. He was also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1955 to 1956. From 1956 to 1960 he was an Associate Professor of Economics and also a Visiting Professor at Stanford University in 1960 to 1961. From 1956 to 1966 he was also a Member of the Research Staff National Bureau of Economic Research. He was then a full Professor of Economics from 1960 to 1978 and was the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1982. In 1978 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Warwick in England. Whilst at the University of Pennsylvania, Easterlin served as the Chairman of the Department of Economics from 1958 to 1960, from 1961 to 1962 and in 1965 and 1968. He was also the Associate Dean for Budget and Planning of the University of Pennsylvania Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1974 to 1979. He then moved to the University of Southern California in 1982 as a Professor of Economics and then University Professor since 1999.


Easterlin is in particular known for his 1974 article "Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence" and the Easterlin paradox which he stated there, namely that, contrary to expectation, happiness at a national level does not increase with wealth once basic needs are fulfilled. He is also known for the Easterlin hypothesis, which states that the positive relationship between income and fertility is dependent on relative income (income relative to aspirations).


He was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences from 1970 to 1971, was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978, was the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology from 1980 to 1981, was elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 1983, was awarded the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award at the University of Southern California in 1987, was appointed to the Board of Directors as the Representative of the Economic History Association to the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1986 to 1997, was awarded the Raubenheimer Award for Teaching and Research at the University of Southern California in 1988, was selected as a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation from 1988 to 1989, was awarded the Irene B. Taeuber Award by the Population Association of America in 1993, received an Honorary Doctorate from Lund University in Sweden in 1998, was elected as a Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring by the Center for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Southern California in 2006, was awarded the Distinguished Researcher Award by the International Society for Quality of Life Studies in 2006, was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association in 2006, was awarded the IZA Prize in Labor Economics from the Institute for the Study of Labor in 2009, and received the Laureate Award from the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population in 2010.[1]


Easterlin's Publications page at University of Southern California


  1. ^ [1] University of Southern California profile of Richard A. Easterlin

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Easterlin — Please support Wikipedia.
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396 videos foundNext > 

Richard Easterlin talks about Happiness Economics

Richard Easterlin, the father of Happiness Economics, talks to economic journalist Olaf Storbeck. Easterlin explains the origins of his discipline, the intricate ...

Richard Easterlin

Une petite vidéo de présentation sur l'économiste Richard Easterlin.

Richard Easterlin at ISQOLS 2015 on the Easterlin paradox lost or regained?

This is Richard Easterlin at the International Society for Quality of Life standards speaking to the assertions and arguments against the Easterlin Paradox and ...

Ricard A. Easterlin - OXCEP Distinguished Speaker Lecture 2013

The Original Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ImDcZ_UV0I OXCEP Distinguished Speaker Lecture 2013 Published on Nov 13, 2013 Professor Richard ...

C.A.G.E Economics of Happiness Roundtable.m4v

In this roundtable discussion the Dept of Economics' Prof. Andrew Oswald welcomed Prof. Richard Easterlin from the University of Southern California and Prof.

PAA in the 1970s

Professor Richard Easterlin is the PAA President in 1978, he introduces what kinds of issues and topics have changed the focus and direction of population ...

Global Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Innovation Collaborative Webinar #4

The fourth webinar in a series, co-sponsored by the Pan-American Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine's Global Environmental Health and ...

The Myth of Paying Compensation

A study of 3000 workers in Sweden reveals that a certain group of employees have a 24% higher risk of a serious heart problem. These are employees who ...

About to bike at Easterlin Park

Charles & Richard, March 25, 2008, Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.

Gearty Grilling: Richard Layard on Happiness

Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Director of the Wellbeing Programme at LSE's Centre for Economic Performance, discusses what really ...

396 videos foundNext > 

420 news items

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sat, 14 Nov 2015 18:26:15 -0800

More than four decades ago, an economist, Richard Easterlin, published a paper claiming that, on his reading of the data, money doesn't make people more content. Almost immediately, he was challenged. The debate has raged ever since. It is not hard to ...

The Economist

The Economist
Thu, 29 Oct 2015 08:46:20 -0700

So, at any rate, concluded a study published in 2012 by Richard Easterlin of the University of Southern California and colleagues. Mr Easterlin is best known for a hotly contested paper published in 1974, which argued that rising incomes do not make ...

89.3 KPCC (blog)

89.3 KPCC (blog)
Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:00:22 -0700

Last year, I posted on the lead-up to the Economics prize, suggesting that maybe, perhaps, a worthy winner would be Southern California's own Richard Easterlin. Easterlin has since cropped up several more times in this blog (he's always gracious with ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:49:10 -0700

Los Angeles. CHINA's new leaders, who will be anointed next month at the Communist Party's 18th National Congress in Beijing, might want to rethink the Faustian bargain their predecessors embraced some 20 years ago: namely, that social stability could ...
Periódico Zócalo
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:07:30 -0800

De hecho, el economista estadunidense Richard Easterlin registró el fenómeno a través de una paradoja bautizada con su nombre para darle una salida a un hecho aparentemente inexplicable: los países felices tienen ciudadanos infelices, y viceversa.

Economie Matin

Economie Matin
Fri, 16 Oct 2015 11:00:00 -0700

En 1974, l'économiste Richard Easterlin a démontré de manière empirique une relation étrange entre le bien-être et le PIB par habitant : à long-terme, il ne semble pas exister de causalité entre la croissance du PIB (ajusté de l'inflation) par habitant ...


Tue, 15 Sep 2015 02:08:37 -0700

GREENE: So Shankar, I kind of like the Easterlin paradox. Why are you going to tell me it's more complicated than that? Remind us what it is. VEDANTAM: Well, the Easterlin paradox, David, is named after Richard Easterlin. He's an economist at the ...

The Atlantic

The Atlantic
Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:00:00 -0700

In 1974, Richard Easterlin, an economist, found that although a country's richer citizens are happier than its poorer ones, as countries become richer, their citizens do not become happier—a contradiction known as the Easterlin paradox. Happiness ...

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