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Should National Happiness Be Maximized ?

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

    ()
    (University of Basel)

Abstract

Cross-disciplinary ?happiness research? has made big progress in the measurement of individual welfare. This development makes it tempting to pursue the old dream of maximizing aggregate happiness as a social welfare function. However, we postulate that the appropriate approach is not to maximize aggregate happiness in seeking to improve outcomes by direct policy interventions. The goal of happiness research should rather be to improve the nature of the processes through which individuals can express their preferences. Individuals should become better able to advance their idea of the good life, both individually and collectively.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2007/02.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2007/02

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  1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  2. Andrew Leigh & Justin Wolfers, 2005. "Happiness and the Human Development Index: Australia is Not a Paradox," CEPR Discussion Papers 505, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges," IZA Discussion Papers 2208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  5. Hagen, Jürgen von & Wolff, Guntram B., 2006. "What do deficits tell us about debt? Empirical evidence on creative accounting with fiscal rules in the EU," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 148, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "Happiness and the Human Development Index: The Paradox of Australia," NBER Working Papers 11416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
  8. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. J.J. Ehrhardt & W.E. Saris & R. Veenhoven, 2000. "Stability of Life-satisfaction over Time," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 177-205, June.
  10. Dafflon, Bernard & Rossi, Sergio, 1999. " Public Accounting Fudges towards EMU: A First Empirical Survey and Some Public Choice Considerations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(1-2), pages 59-84, October.
  11. Kerwin Kofi Charles, 2002. "Is Retirement Depressing?: Labor Force Inactivity and Psychological Well-Being in Later Life," NBER Working Papers 9033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Schelling, Thomas C, 1978. "Egonomics, or the Art of Self-Management," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 290-94, May.
  13. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  14. Silvia Pezzini, 2005. "The Effect of Women's Rights on Women's Welfare: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages C208-C227, 03.
  15. John F. Helliwell, 2004. "Well-Being and Social Capital: Does Suicide Pose a Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 10896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Kassenböhmer, Sonja C. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2011. "Beyond GDP and Back: What is the Value-Added by Additional Components of Welfare Measurement?," IZA Discussion Papers 5453, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. SARRACINO Francesco, 2011. "Richer in money, poorer in relationship and unhappy? Time series comparisons of social capital and well-being in Luxembourg," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2011-01, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  3. SARRACINO Francesco, 2011. "Money, sociability and happiness : are developed countries doomed to social erosion and unhappiness?," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2011-02, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. Corrado, L. & Weeks, M., 2010. "Identification Strategies in Survey Response Using Vignettes," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1031, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Chong Choi & Sae Kim & Shui Yu, 2009. "Global Ethics of Collective Internet Governance: Intrinsic Motivation and Open Source Software," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(4), pages 523-531, December.
  6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00564985 is not listed on IDEAS

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