ABSTRACT

The relationship between happiness and income has been at the center of a vibrant debate, with both intrinsic and instrumental importance, as emotional states are an important determinant of health and social behavior. We investigate whether a government-run unconditional cash transfer paid directly to women in poor house-holds had an impact on self-reported happiness. The evaluation was designed as a cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Zambia across 90 communities. The program led to a 7.5 to 10 percentage point impact on women’s happiness after 36- and 48-months, respectively (or 0.19–0.25 standard deviations over the control group mean). In addition, women have higher overall satisfaction regarding their young children’s well-being, including in-dicators of satisfaction with their children’s health and positive outlook on their children’s future. Complementary analysis suggests that self-assessed relative poverty (as measured by comparison to other households in the community) is a more important mediator of program effects on happiness than absolute poverty (as measured by household consumption expenditures). Although typically not the focus of such eva-luations, impacts on psychosocial indicators, including happiness, should not be discounted as important out-comes, as they capture different, non-material, holistic aspects of an individual’s overall level of well-being.

Dynamic Infographic On Biofield Therapies

This dynamic infographic allows you to interact with the data from a recent systematic review of human randomized controlled trials reporting use of only nonphysical contact treatment.

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