Easterlin-paradox: a revisionist account for the enlightened politician

Shiri Cohen Kaminitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social scientists have engaged extensively with the empirical findings of the Easterlin-paradox. However, any statement regarding the meaning and implications of the paradox are derived only through the mediation of normative assumptions. The paper renders these assumptions explicit (and, therefore, open for political discussion), a necessary step in legitimizing the Easterlin paradox as a compass for politics. Based on the analysis of the assumptions lurking behind the common implications of the paradox, the paper opens the door to alternative implications of the paradox. Thus, it refers to other normative assumptions that combine together the assumptions discussed - and is therefore regarded as pluralist in essence - and singles out one particular strong variant - the ‘dual necessity’ variant. This strong assumption, invariably overlooked in the literature, is defined here and its significant political implications for the Easterlin paradox illustrated.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)882-898
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Easterin paradox
  • economic growth
  • equality
  • life satisfaction
  • well-being


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