What’s so good about growth?

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Last week is was Joseph Stiglitz, this week Michael Mandel reviews Ben Friedman’s ‘The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth’:

Friedman has scored a dead-center hit on the critical question: Why do we value economic growth? The usual argument is that a bigger GDP -- more goods and services -- leads to happier, more satisfied citizens. But that apparently simple proposition turns out to be far more complicated. As Friedman notes, there is plenty of evidence that people judge their well-being by comparing themselves to others. As the average income in a country goes up, so do expectations. As a result, the level of GDP per person in a country, taken alone, doesn't necessarily say much about the level of happiness.

Related: Does gross national happiness mean anything to development? What is the real wealth of nations?

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