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Just a perfect day? Developing a happiness optimised day schedule

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Author Info

  • Kroll, Christian
  • Pokutta, Sebastian

Abstract

With the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM), Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, and Stone (2004) introduced an important approach in subjective well-being (SWB) research to explore how people experience daily activities. A major unresolved question for laypeople and scholars alike resulting from this research, however, is the neglect of saturation and scarcity effects in this area of study. To fill this gap, we apply methods from optimisation research to the field of SWB. Combining utility functions with DRM data allows us to generate an optimal day schedule: It differs considerably from how people usually spend their time, whereby the distribution of activities is remarkably even. The results show how a paradigm shift away from a focus on increasing Gross Domestic Product towards greater well-being at the macrolevel could play out at the microlevel with potential consequences for how we might live our day-to-day lives.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167487012001158
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 210-217

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:210-217

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

Related research

Keywords: Day Reconstruction Method; Time use; Affect; Subjective well-being; Optimisation;

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  1. John F. Helliwell, 2002. "How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures," CEP Special Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
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