Search this site
by Faculty Name
by Publication Type
by Academic Area
HKS Faculty Research
FRC User's Guide
Submit New & Edit Current Publication Citations
Browse Publication Type
Publication Type Results
Edward L. Glaeser
Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, FAS
Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
Glaeser, Edward L., Joshua D. Gottlieb, and Oren Ziv. "Unhappy Cities."
Journal of Labor Economics
34.S2 (April 2016): 129-182.
There are persistent differences in self-reported subjective well-being across U.S. metropolitan areas, and residents of declining cities appear less happy than other Americans. Newer residents of these cities appear to be as unhappy as longer term residents, and yet some people continue to move to these areas. While the historical data on happiness are limited, the available facts suggest that cities that are now declining were also unhappy in their more prosperous past. One interpretation of these facts is that individuals do not aim to maximize self-reported well-being, or happiness, as measured in surveys, and they willingly endure less happiness in exchange for higher incomes or lower housing costs. In this view, subjective well-being is better viewed as one of many arguments of the utility function, rather than the utility function itself, and individuals make trade-offs among competing objectives, including but not limited to happiness.
Copyright © 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College