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Paul Krugman says that while it may not be all downhill for me from here on out, I am looking at a long, slow descent into unhappiness: "I always check out what’s new in National Bureau of Economic Research working papers, and a new one, 'Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?', reports that among American men, happiness reaches a minimum at the age of 49, then rises." Krugman, 54, is cheered by the news but from the vantage point of 26 this is a pretty dire prediction.

And it gets worse. "The paper also shows that in the United States the well-being of successive birth-cohorts has gradually fallen through time," reports the abstract, "In Europe, newer birth-cohorts are happier."

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