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Economics and Happiness: Why More is Sometimes not Better

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  • Lubomír Mlčoch

Abstract

The author raises doubts about a sense of "catching up" and an idolatry of HDP´s growth. His argumentation is based on the longitudinal international research of the link "economics-happiness" at the frontier between economics and psychology. The rationality of economic science "more is better" is bounded by environmental and relational externalities: it is just what a "theory of happiness" argues against a "joyless economy". The family-household is an old istitution esp. loosing in a competition with the market economy. The article stresses a role of "relational goods" explaining why more is sometimes less. The loss of happiness in market democracies (R.Lane) is the reason for a crisis of economic paradigm; it has a chance to be healed by a switch from the principle of imperial equivalence to a reciprocity (economy of communion). Implications for economic policies based on a "science of happiness" reverse the link "economics-happiness" making from HDP growth a by-product of our effort for happiness.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Economics, Prague in its journal Politická ekonomie.

Volume (Year): 2007 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 147-163

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Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpol:v:2007:y:2007:i:2:id:594:p:147-163

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Related research

Keywords: Economic rationality vs. subjective happiness; equivalence vs. reciprocity; goods; positional goods; relational goods; economics of family; economy of communion;

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