Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Height and Happiness

The latest research from Angus Deaton and Raksha Arora (via Kevin Denny):
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index daily poll of the US, taller people live better lives, at least on average. They evaluate their lives more highly, and they are more likely to report a range of positive emotions such as enjoyment and happiness. They are also less likely to report a range of negative experiences, like sadness, and physical pain, though they are more likely to experience stress and anger, and if they are women, to worry. These findings cannot be attributed to different demographic or ethnic characteristics of taller people, but are almost entirely explained by the positive association between height and both income and education, both of which are positively linked to better lives.
So why wouldn't a utilitarian want to tax them to share the joy?