Sustainable Development and Happiness; Does per Capita Energy Consumption Affect People's Satisfaction and Happiness in Society?

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar

2 Ph.D. in Economics, Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran


Sustainable development is aimed at promoting the level and quality of life of individuals and improving the welfare of society and the continuation of this process throughout the human generations. Rising per capita global energy consumption and the devastating environmental consequences of this trend, despite technological advances and the widespread warnings (resource depletion, rising pollution, and global warming), have raised global concerns about sustainable development. However, many are still reluctant to reduce energy consumption, because there is a widespread belief, although implicit, that a nation's level of well-being and happiness depends on its energy consumption. The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate the effect of per capita energy consumption on the happiness of societies. The results of estimating the effect of energy consumption thresholds on happiness in selected developing countries during the period 2017-2017 have shown that energy consumption has a nonlinear and threshold effect on happiness. In other words, as long as the level of energy consumption per capita is less than the threshold level increasing per capita energy consumption has led to an increase in the level of happiness in society. But after crossing the threshold level and being in a high energy consumption regime, increasing per capita energy consumption has reduced the level of happiness. Environmental pollution and global warming as a result of the uncontrolled increase in energy consumption and its adverse consequences on quality of life are among the reasons for the paradox of the relationship between energy consumption and happiness.
JEL Classification: 131,  Z13, O01,O56


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