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Scitovsky’s Theory of Well-being


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  • Maurizio Pugno


Scitovsky laid the foundations for a new theory of people’s well-being in his 1976 book The Joyless Economy. This paper, after a reconstruction of Scitovsky’s analysis throughout the book and his related writings, shows that supporting evidence can be found in recent economic and psychology literature. Secondly, the paper shows how Scitovsky’s theory helps understand the partial nature of economic welfare with respect to human welfare, and the widening gap between the two, which is also recently known in the version given by Easterlin. Thirdly, the paper proposes reconciliation, based on Scitovsky’s theory, between the hedonic and eudaimonic approach to happiness, recently taken up, respectively, by Kahneman and Sen.

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Article provided by FrancoAngeli Editore in its journal HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY.

Volume (Year): 2012/2 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 35-56

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Handle: RePEc:fan:spespe:v:html10.3280/spe2012-002002

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