Hwa Joon Choi
Tzu Min Lin
Does wealth make people happier?
The relationship between GDP per capita and the Happy Planet Index (HPI)
We investigated the relationship between Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and the Happy Planet Index (HPI), using data collected from the census and the results of the 2012 HPI by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and the GDP per capita data published by the World Bank (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD). The 2012 HPI shows the extent to which 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy and sustainable lives for the people that live in them. The Index uses global data on three criteria: life expectancy (LE), experienced well being (EW) and Ecological Footprint (EF) to calculate this. It ranks countries on how many long and happy lives they produce per unit of environmental input. (Happy Planet Index: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data)
Why use a Scatter Graph?
We were interested in identifying the relation between wealth and happiness, based on the following questions: i) Is there a positive relationship between income and happiness? ii) Is there an ideal level of income with which people are satisfied? iii) Do people from different countries view these relationships in a different way? Using a scatter graph allowed us to make the following observations: 1. Right-skewed distribution
We can observe a right-skewed distribution. The mass of the distribution is concentrated on the left of the figure. The mean of the HPI is 42.2 as the above black line.
2. Two thresholds
There are two thresholds—GDP per Capita $10,000 and $20,000 * GDP per Capita <$10,000:
The level of happiness of people in countries with a GDP per Capita of less than $10,000 can range from HPI 65 to HPI 31. This implies that for this range of income, wealth does not play a major role in explaining people’s happiness. * GDP per...