Country data: emitting carbon not essential for wealth, development & happiness

HAPPINESSThis chart shows average development (HDI), income (GNI), emissions (CO2 per capita), and happiness (Gallup data) within groups of countries identified using model-based cluster analysis (click here for a draft of the full paper). The least developed group on average generated just 5% of the carbon emissions and 14% of the income of the most developed cluster, yet experienced an average of 93% of the happiness of that of residents of the most developed cluster. This least developed cluster would have had an even higher level of average happiness had countries with unusually negative recent experiences such as Egypt and Iraq been excluded. Between the two clusters with the highest self-reported happiness, one emits just 57% the carbon dioxide emissions of the other. Average happiness is lowest in the two clusters with medium levels of income and development. These observations, among others, are very salient to deciding how to further happiness at the individual, firm, and societal levels while reducing emissions and other negative environmental impacts. The results should provoke further work in measuring, understanding, and fostering conditions conducive to well-being. For a primer on the topic, click here. The paper will be discussed at the 2014 European Academy of Management conference.

About Adam Sulkowski

Associate Professor of Law and Sustainability, specializing in research and teaching on sustainable business, corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability reporting, integrated reporting, and corporate and environmental law.
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