Watch: The Trailer for The Economics of Happiness

The film The Economics of Happiness investigates why fewer Americans say they're happy than in decades past and whether localizing can help.


Bill McKibben sets up this trailer for the new movie The Economics of Happiness by noting that "The number of Americans who say, 'Yes, I'm very happy with my life,' peaks in 1956 and goes slowly but steadily downhill ever since."

The film promises to investigate potential causes of that decline: problems with ad-driven consumerism and the associated insecurity, long hours at the office, and a flawed food system, among others. The solution, at least as far as one can tell from the trailer, is reorienting our economies and our lives around local communities.

Of course, happiness is a complicated quality and you can't buy it (even if you buy local). How deeply the film explores the psychological science of happiness is unclear. But it looks interesting anyway. The film is touring North America in January. You can get details at its official website.