Growth, Development and Happiness           2.17
              equality in the schools. This is in sharp    correlated with observable brain functions, and to
              contrast to the education reform strategy    the characteristics of an individual and the society.
              at work in the US, where the emphasis        Asking people whether they are happy or satisfied
              is to put on testing, measurement, and       with their lives, offers important information
              teacher pay according to student test        about the society. It can signal underlying crises
              performance.                                 or hidden strengths. It can suggest the need for
                                                           change. Such is the idea of the emerging scientific
     At the enD                                            study of happiness, whether of individuals and the
     The introspecting observations of the WHR             choices they make, or of societies and the reports of
     2012 simply concluded that there are enough           the citizenry regarding life satisfaction—the WHR
     reasons to believe that we need to re-think the       2012 summarises the fascinating and emerging
     economic sources of well-being, more so even in       story of these studies on two broad measurements
     the rich countries than in the poor ones. High-       of happiness:
     income countries have largely ended the sources             (i) the ups and downs of daily emotions and
     of poverty, hunger and disease. Poor countries             (ii) an individual’s overall evaluation of life
     rightly yearn to do so. But after the end of poverty,
                                                                 The former is sometimes called ‘affective
     what comes next? What are the pathways to well-
                                                           happiness,’ and the latter ‘evaluative happiness’.
     being when basic economic needs are no longer
     the main drivers of social change? What will guide          This is important to know that both kinds
     humanity in the Anthropocene: advertising,            of happiness have predictable causes that reflect
     sustainability, community or something else?          various facets of our human nature and our social
     What is the path to happiness?                        life. Affective happiness captures the day-to-day
          Most people agree that societies should foster   joy of friendship, time with family and sex, or the
     happiness of their citizens. The founding fathers     downsides of long work commutes and sessions
     of the US recognised the inalienable right to         with one’s boss. Evaluative happiness measures
     the pursuit of happiness. British philosophers        very different dimensions of life, those that lead
     talked about the greatest good for the greatest       to overall satisfaction or frustration with one’s
     number. Bhutan has famously adopted the goal          place in society. Higher income, better health
     of Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather              of mind and body, and a high degree of trust in
     than Gross National Product. China champions          one’s community (‘social capital’) all contribute to
     a harmonious society. Yet most people probably        high life satisfaction; poverty, ill health and deep
     believe that happiness is in the eye of the beholder, divisions in the community all contribute to low
     an individual’s choice, something to be pursued       life satisfaction.
     individually rather than as a matter of national            Happiness differs systematically across
     policy. Happiness seems far too subjective, too       societies and over time, for reasons that are
     vague, to serve as a touchstone for a nation’s goals, identifiable, and even alterable through the ways in
     much less its policy content. That indeed has been    which public policies are designed and delivered.
     the traditional view. Yet the evidence is rapidly     It makes sense, in other words, to pursue policies
     changing this view.                                   to raise the public’s happiness as much as it does to
          A generation of studies by psychologists,        raise the public’s national income. Bhutan is on
     economists, pollsters, sociologists and others have   to something path breaking and deeply insightful.
     shown that happiness, though indeed a subjective      And the world is increasingly taking notice. A
     experience, can be objectively measured, assessed,    household’s income counts for life satisfaction,