Can Happiness Data Help Countries Evaluate the Success of Public Policies?

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Aug. 12 2014 7:13 PM

The Pursuit of Happiness Studies

The Gist wonders if we can truly study national differences in attitudes toward happiness.

Are worldwide happiness indexes bunk?

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Kamyar Adl/Flickr.

Listen to Episode 69 of Slate’s The Gist:


Can gathering happiness data help countries evaluate the success of public policies? For our regular segment “Is This Bulls--t,” we examine the value of happiness studies with Maria Konnikova of The New Yorker. Also, Arab studies professor Justin Stearns explains how the Muslim world interprets extremist calls for a return to the caliphate. For the Spiel, Mike remembers Robin Williams in light of our recent report on comedy and mental health.


Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.

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