Happiness for All?: Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.3 X 0.9 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Carol Graham is the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and College Park Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy. Her books include The Pursuit of Happiness: An Economy of Well-Being and Happiness around the World: The Paradox of Happy Peasants and Miserable Millionaires.


"With Happiness for All?, Carol Graham takes the study of the new inequality one step deeper. She tells what it means from the perspective of those who suffer from it, as she explores, from many different angles, how it affects Americans' sense of well-being, and their place within the American dream. This is a very important book, on the deepest social problem facing the United States today."--George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics
"Compelling. Happiness for All? is a significant work of scholarship by one of today's leading scholars in the field. Graham's book will inform our debates on inequality, and is extremely timely and important."--Martin Binder, Bard College Berlin
"Carol Graham uses well-being measures to bring new insights to the divisions that are threatening America. Far from dreaming of a better tomorrow, many Americans, especially white Americans, are deeply pessimistic about their future and the futures of their children. This book brings much to think and to worry about."--Angus Deaton, Nobel Laureate in Economics
"In a world where people are turning against governments from across the political spectrum, the search is on to discover the source of this collective angst. Why are the leaders of extremist political parties gaining so much support and why did the UK vote to leave the EU? In this timely and invaluable book, Carol Graham investigates whether inequalities in well-being can explain this profound sense of alienation. We know globalization created many losers but, until now, these effects were measured in terms of income not individuals' well-being. The well-being lens casts a powerful light on the fundamental causes: lack of opportunity caused by poor education and failure to invest in the skills needed in the future."--(Lord) Gus O'Donnell, chairman of Frontier Economics and president of the Institute for Fiscal Studies
"Graham writes with clarity and passion."--Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick
"Carol Graham . . . makes a convincing case that perceptions of well-being, including factors like stress and a sense of the value of one's life, have become far more negative for poorer Americans since 2007."---Jeff Madrick, The New York Review of Books
"A persuasive and well-supported study. Highly recommended."---Karen Shook, Times Higher Education
"Graham is one of the few scholars who have traced the effects of a dramatic increase in inequality between the rich and poor in America."---Ana Swanson, WashingtonPost.com's Wonkblog,
"Graham pushes the wellbeing date into a more fruitful area, to assess how the experience of inequality shapes the views Americans hold about the future and the value of hard work. . . . She pierces the myth that inequality is accepted in the US because it is accompanied by so many success stories."---Geoff Dyer, Financial Times
"[Carol Graham's] important new book is the empirical version of Hillbilly Elegy."---Peter R. Orszag, Bloomberg View
"The principle merit of Graham's work is in this demonstration that wellbeing theory and metrics, even in their present infancy, have a lot to contribute to economics and economic policy and deserve to be taken more seriously."---Mark Fabian, Economic Record
"One of Project Syndicate's Best Reads in 2017 (chosen by Kermal Dervi )"