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Scitovsky’s Theory of Well-being

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  • Maurizio Pugno

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Pugno, 2012. "Scitovsky’s Theory of Well-being," HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2012(2), pages 35-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:spespe:v:html10.3280/spe2012-002002
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bianchi, Marina, 2014. "The magic of storytelling: How curiosity and aesthetic preferences work," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-30.
    2. Bianchi, Marina, 2014. "The magic of storytelling: How curiosity and aesthetic preferences work," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-23, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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