Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

Abstract

Over the past few years, there has been a steadily increasing interest on the part of economists in happiness research. We argue that reported subjective well-being is a satisfactory empirical approximation to individual utility and that happiness research is able to contribute important insights for economics. We report how the economic variables income, unemployment and inflation affect happiness as well as how institutional factors, in particular the type of democracy and the extent of government decentralization, systematically influence how satisfied individuals are with their life. We discuss some of the consequences for economic policy and for economic theory.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2001/wp-cesifo-2001-06/cesifo_wp503.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 503.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_503

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Email:
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Economics; economic welfare; subjective well-being; utility;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1978. "Institutional approaches to public expenditure : Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 255-280, April.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Kent 9903, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  5. Johannes Schwarze, 2000. "Using Panel Data on Income Satisfaction to Estimate the Equivalence Scale Elasticity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 227, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
  7. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & William Darity, Jr., 1996. "The impact of labor force history on self-esteem and its component parts, anxiety, alienation and depression," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 183-220, April.
  8. Lucas, Robert E., 1981. "Discussion of : Stanley Fischer, "towards an understanding of the costs of inflation: II"," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 43-52, January.
  9. Sen, A., 1996. "Maximisation and the Act of Choice," Papers, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi 270, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  10. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  11. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David Neumark & Andrew Postlewaite, 1995. "Relative Income Concerns and the Rise in Married Women's Employment," NBER Working Papers 5044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Marc Le Menestrel, 2001. "A process approach to the utility for gambling," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 570, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  14. Yew-Kwang, Ng, 1997. "A case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability," Departmental Working Papers, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics _081, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  15. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
  16. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  17. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  18. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
  19. Van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Kapteyn, Arie, 1973. "Further evidence on the individual welfare function of income: An empirical investigatiion in The Netherlands," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 33-62, April.
  20. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2008. "The Reason of Rules," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521070904.
  21. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  22. Driffill, John & Mizon, Grayham Ernest & Ulph, Alistair Mitchell, 1989. "Costs of Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 293, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  24. Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Rationality and Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 1-24, March.
  25. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  26. Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Because It Is There: The Challenge of Mountaineering . . . for Utility Theory," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 315-43.
  27. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
  28. Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 1993. "Saving and growth: a reinterpretation," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 140, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  29. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
  30. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
  31. van de Stadt, Huib & Kapteyn, Arie & van de Geer, Sara, 1985. "The Relativity of Utility: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 179-87, May.
  32. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  33. David Blanchflower, 1996. "Youth Labour Markets in 23 Countries: A Comparison Using Micro Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp0284, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  34. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. " Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
  35. Gary Marks & Nicole Fleming, 1999. "Influences and Consequences of Well-being Among Australian Young People: 1980–1995," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 301-323, March.
  36. Rexford Santerre, 1989. "Representative versus direct democracy: Are there any expenditure differences?," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 145-154, February.
  37. Kenny, Charles, 1999. "Does Growth Cause Happiness, or Does Happiness Cause Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 3-25.
  38. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A, 2000. "Taking Another Look at the Gender/Job-Satisfaction Paradox," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 135-52.
  39. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-63, Part I Ju.
  40. Charness, Gary & Grosskopf, Brit, 2001. "Relative payoffs and happiness: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-328, July.
  41. Pommerehne, Werner W & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "Fiscal Illusion, Political Institutions, and Local Public Spending," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 381-408.
  42. Heidi Lepper, 1998. "Use of Other-Reports to Validate Subjective Well-Being Measures," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 367-379, July.
  43. Easterly, William, 1999. " Life during Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-76, September.
  44. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  45. Armin Falk & Markus Knell, . "Choosing the Joneses On the Endogeneity of Reference Groups," IEW - Working Papers 053, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  46. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
  47. Pollak, Robert A, 1976. "Interdependent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 309-20, June.
  48. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
  49. Hahn, Frank, 1990. "On Inflation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 15-25, Winter.
  50. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  51. Rexford Santerre, 1986. "Representative versus direct democracy: A Tiebout test of relative performance," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 55-63, January.
  52. J.J. Ehrhardt & W.E. Saris & R. Veenhoven, 2000. "Stability of Life-satisfaction over Time," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 177-205, June.
  53. Daniel T. Slesnick, 1998. "Empirical Approaches to the Measurement of Welfare," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2108-2165, December.
  54. Kahn, Barbara E & Isen, Alice M, 1993. " The Influence of Positive Affect on Variety Seeking among Safe, Enjoyable Products," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 257-70, September.
  55. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 1999. "Measuring Preferences by Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 755-778, December.
  56. Santerre, Rexford E, 1993. " Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Public Bureaucrats," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 76(3), pages 189-98, July.
  57. Wansbeek, T.J. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1985. "The individual welfare function: A review," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364330, Tilburg University.
  58. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
  59. Shafir, Eldar & Diamond, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-74, May.
  60. Richard A. Easterlin, 2000. "The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-26, Winter.
  61. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  62. Yew-Kwang Ng, 1996. "Happiness surveys: Some comparability issues and an exploratory survey based on just perceivable increments," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-27, May.
  63. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  64. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
  65. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1990. "The empirical relevance of comparative institutional analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 458-469, May.
  66. Fischer, Stanley, 1981. "Towards an understanding of the costs of inflation: II," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 5-41, January.
  67. William A. Darity & Arthur H. Goldsmith, 1996. "Social Psychology, Unemployment and Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 121-140, Winter.
  68. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  69. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Paul Frijters, 1999. "The measurement of welfare and well-being; the Leyden approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology 071a, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  70. Boskin, Michael J & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Money, reputation and happiness
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-03-05 17:27:55
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_503. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.