Stranger-Reported Economist Happiness

This paper from the May 2008 edition of Kyklos [ungated] just may be the best paper ever written. It investigates the happiness of economics Nobel Prize winners, non-Nobel superstar economists, and prominent happiness researchers by showing their website photographs to people on the street in Melbourne Brisbane, Australia. Thus it contains winning lines such as:

[T]he advice for young academics is: if you seek happiness, become a macro-economist and research happiness; a Nobel Prize does not make you happier; if you want to be popular with the ladies, take lessons from Edmund Phelps, Bruno Frey and Richard Easterlin; if you are looking for the ability to age like a red wine, Joseph Stiglitz and Jean Tirole have the trick, but not Richard Easterlin.

Who, according to the good people of Melbourne Brisbane, is the happiest economist? Well, who do you think? [Click for full size.]

That's right, Edmund Phelps. That man is clearly loving life.
Congratulations to the authors for this exemplary piece of social science!

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center