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Does material affluence boost happiness? This has been the assumption of economists for centuries, and a central basis of public economic discussions. Here, Dr Brian Easton examines the accumulated evidence to the contrary and suggests perhaps it is time to consider dimensions other than wealth in measuring people’s wellbeing and status.

Dr Brian Easton is an independent scholar, consultant and teacher in economics, social statistics, public policy and New Zealand Studies. His writings include the economics column for The Listener, journals, newspapers and academic literature. www.eastonbh.ac.nz includes papers on the history of ideas, methodology and philosophy; growth and innovation; governance; globalisation.

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