Using a variety of measures – comparing GDP to indicators like life expectancy, suicide, and time spent commuting – John Stutz and Erica Mintzer examine the correlations between affluence and well-being. It shows that in the early stages of rising income, affluence does correlate with well-being, but at a certain point wellbeing levels flatten out. At high levels the trend can reverse. This affluence paradox may hold a key to sustainability. Beyond a certain point, we can stop consuming and improve well-being. Self-interest – properly understood – can become a driver for sustainability.
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Stutz, John, and Erica Mintzer. 2006. Boston: Tellus Institute.
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