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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]



  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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295 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 intri...

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...

Richard Easterlin

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

OXCEP Distinguished Speaker Lecture 2013

Professor Richard A. Easterlin speaks on the topic of 'Growth, Transition and Life Satisfaction: China, Eastern Europe and the World'. This talk was organise...

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 st...

About to bike at Easterlin Park

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

Subjective Well-Being and The Easterlin Paradox

Lecture by Francesco Sarracino Subjective Well-Being and The Easterlin Paradox.

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 deeme...

Julia Easterlin, "Break My Bones" (live), 3/2/13 - a cappella

Solo a cappella loop artist Julia Easterlin performs her song "Break My Bones" at SingStrong DC 2013 at South Lakes High School in Reston, VA, on Saturday, 2...

Nicole Linger | The Easterlin Paradox -- Can Money Buy Happiness

Nicole Linger - http://www.nicolelinger.com/

295 videos foundNext > 

21 news items

Forum:Blog - The World Economic Forum (blog)

Forum:Blog - The World Economic Forum (blog)
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:22:30 -0700

Since 1990, GDP per person in China has doubled and then redoubled. With average incomes multiplying fourfold in little more than two decades, one might expect many of the Chinese people to be dancing in the streets. Yet, when asked about their ...
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:03:45 -0700

The opening salvo in a long intellectual battle was fired by Richard Easterlin, an economist who, in 1974, found that richer people in any society tended to be more satisfied with their lives, and yet richer societies showed no tendency to be happier ...

Forum:Blog - The World Economic Forum (blog)

Forum:Blog - The World Economic Forum (blog)
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:45:00 -0700

Warren Buffett claims that he tap-dances to work every day. And why not? In 2013 alone, he made $12.7 billion. That's $1.5 million per hour – even while sleeping. Clearly, Buffett picked the right career – not just for himself, but also for those lucky ...
Diario Financiero
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 01:01:36 -0700

El primer disparo en una larga batalla intelectual lo dio Richard Easterlin, un economista que en 1974 descubrió que la gente más rica en cualquier sociedad tendía a estar más satisfecha con su vida, y sin embargo las sociedades más ricas no mostraban ...

Apotheken Umschau

Apotheken Umschau
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:20:01 -0700

Damals verglich der amerikanische Ökonom Richard Easterlin Befragungen zur Lebenszufriedenheit mit Statistiken zum Wirtschaftswachstum und stellte zu seiner eigenen Verblüffung fest: Zwar waren in der Boomzeit nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg ...
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:17:34 -0700

Mais cette relation devient paradoxale quand on la considère sur le long terme, comme l'a montré le démographe et économiste américain Richard Easterlin, c'est-à-dire que la proportion d'Américains qui se déclarent très heureux en 1970 n'est pas plus ...
Les Échos
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:08:07 -0700

D'un côté, on remet de plus en plus en question le lien entre sa croissance et celle du bien-être : il y a quarante ans déjà, l'Américain Richard Easterlin montrait qu'au-delà d'un certain seuil de richesse, la croissance économique ne rendait pas les ...


Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:14:30 -0700

Concetto chiave nell'happiness economics, il paradosso sviluppato dall'economista Richard Easterlin negli anni '70 spiega che “nel lungo periodo, l'aumento del reddito non è correlato ad una maggiore soddisfazione” – il vecchio proverbio “i soldi non ...

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