The East-Asian happiness gap: speculating on causes and implications

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Despite spectacular economic growth, most East-Asian countries (especially those with the Confucian cultures) score very low in happiness surveys. The present paper speculates on the reasons for this East-Asian happiness gap, including environmental disruption, excessive competitiveness, repressive education, excessive conformity, negative attitudes towards enjoyment, and the emphasis on outward appearance. The desired direction of future growth, especially regarding the relative importance of public spending on the environment and research, and the non-material aspects of life, are also briefly touched on.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalPacific Economic Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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