I was surprised to learn as a student that there has been no rise in happiness since 1950s despite the rise in real income. Surveys done on this subject matter showed no rising trend in happiness. For example, the âgeneral progress indicatorâ (http://www.redefiningprogress.org/publications/1999/gpi1999.html), it reported that economic progress does not equate to rise in happiness. Increases in GDP as a measure does not imply progress. There are other criterions that should be included in measuring economic progress but are not used in the measure. Amartya Sen (Nobel 1998) mentions freedom, ânon-marketâ activities (charity), equity (rich vs poor), risk (job security) and complexity (regulation) that should be accounted in the measurement. Other similar surveys includes the World Values Survey, Euro-Barometer Survey, Uni of Chicago â¦ National Opinion Survey (Q: â taken all together, would you say you are very happy, pretty happy, not too happy?â â cross sectional survey over 1972 to 1998). The common theme portrayed with these studies were the same, we are not getting happier as a society. The following possible reasons are as follows: 1) The possible contributions to happiness are from the non-monetary aspect of an individualâs life. These includes: age, gender, health, democracy, uncertainty, martial status, education, etcâ¦). 2) Our expectations of happiness are constantly rising. We are consistently raising the bar with items that would consider making us happier (thanks to the works of advertisers). Joan Robinson pointed out that the price that people are willing to pay is the desire for the product, not the satisfaction that we derive from it. 3) We are ranking happiness relative to others. The term âpositional goodsâ is usually associated with high social status. Fred Hirsch used it to describe economic goods which are considered to possess a relative or social value rather than an absolute one. If anyone has anything else to add feel free to do so. As a little survey, are you very happy, pretty happy or not too happy? Me personally, Iâm pretty happy.