Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Peter Lorentzen


Everyone wants to be happy. Happiness however never seems to be a national goal. A possible answer is that happiness is subjective and on its own may not be reflective of the economic status of a country. Therefore, should people’s happiness should be treated equally with other traditional economic measurements? This cross-country level study looks at the relationship between happiness and traditional economic measurements; mainly GDP per capita. Questions concerning whether GDP per capita indeed captures the overall well-being of a citizen and happiness’ eligibility as an economic measurement are addressed. Findings confirm that happiness and GDP per capita are positively correlated. As a result, subjective happiness may not be all that different from traditional economic measures like GDP per capita.