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Capability and happiness: Conceptual difference and reality links

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  • Veenhoven, Ruut

Abstract

Happiness is not the same as capability, but the matters are related. Capability is obviously required for living a happy life and happiness feeds back on capability in several ways. Capabilities affect happiness not only at the individual level, but also indirectly at the societal level. For instance: school education does not seem to make pupils any happier, but a high level of education is required for modern society that does add to happiness. Insight in the interrelations between capability and happiness is required for making policy choices. If the prime aim is greater happiness for a greater number, one must know what capabilities are most functional for happiness in the given conditions. If the cultivation of capabilities is prioritized, one must at least acknowledge the possible loss of happiness. Inspection of the available data does not reveal much conflict.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 344-350

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:3:p:344-350

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Capability Happiness Life-chances Cross-national Longitudinal Research synthesis;

References

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  1. R. Veenhoven, 2008. "Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 449-469, September.
  2. Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ron Smith, 2004. "Capabilities and Wellbeing: Evidence Based on the Sen-Nussbaum Approach to Welfare," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 47, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
  3. Ruut Veenhoven, 2005. "Apparent Quality-of-Life in Nations: How Long and Happy People Live," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 61-86, 03.
  4. Ruut Veenhoven, 1991. "Is happiness relative?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Veenhoven, Ruut, 2011. "World Database of happiness: Example of a focused ‘Findings Archive’," MPRA Paper 41926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Solava Ibrahim, 2011. "Poverty, aspirations and wellbeing: afraid to aspire and unable to reach a better life – voices from Egypt," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 14111, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  3. Angner, Erik, 2010. "Subjective well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 361-368, June.
  4. Jeroen Nawijn, 2011. "Happiness Through Vacationing: Just a Temporary Boost or Long-Term Benefits?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 651-665, August.
  5. Jenny Assi & Mario Lucchini & Amedeo Spagnolo, 2012. "Mapping patterns of well-being and quality of life in extended Europe," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 59(4), pages 409-430, December.
  6. Ho, Lok Sang, 2011. "Hong Kong's happiness indices: What they tell us about LIFE?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 564-572.
  7. Lotta Uusitalo-Malmivaara, 2012. "Global and School-Related Happiness in Finnish Children," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 601-619, August.

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