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Center for Policy Research

Policy Brief

Unequal Hopes, Lives, and Lifespans in the USA: Lessons from the New Science of Well-Being

Carol Graham

C.P.R. Policy Brief No. 53

August 2018


Given that we have had historic increases in inequality, as well as stagnant poverty levels for several decades, the author tells the story of poverty and inequality in the U.S. from the perspective of the metrics of happiness and well-being. My research—and the book that resulted—found that inequality is part of this story, but not the only part. The story was much more complicated than the author anticipated. One of the most interesting parts of the story includes different levels of hope and resilience across races and places. Poverty and inequality play a big role, but there is much more to it.

The Center for Policy Research Policy Brief series is a collection of essays on current public policy issues in aging; urban and regional studies; education finance and accountability; public finance; social welfare, poverty, and income security; and related research done by or on behalf of the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

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