Carol Graham, the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow and research director for Global Economy and Development at Brookings, was awarded the 2018 International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies Distinguished Researcher Award. The award is designated for a scholar with a lifetime of substantial contribution to quality of life/well-being/happiness research. In 2014, the Society recognized her with its Research Fellow Award. Graham was one of the first economists to work on happiness, and has done extensive work around the world on the consistent patterns in the determinants of happiness across countries and time. She has also been a leader in exploring the causal properties of well-being, and showed that happier people do better in the labor market and health arenas (a pattern she identified as early as 2004).
Most recently, Graham has established linkages between lack of hope and premature mortality—at the level of the individual, race, and place—in the United States.
She is the author of seven books and over fifty articles in academic journals. Reviews of her work have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Science, the Journal of Economic Literature, The New Yorker, the Financial Times, and The Washington Post, among others. She served on a National Academy of Sciences panel on well-being metrics and public policy from 2011-12.
Graham is also College Park Professor at the University of Maryland and a senior scientist at Gallup.