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Happiness Economics: The Relative Nature of Human Subjective Wellbeing

Author

Listed:
  • Teodor Sedlarski

    () (University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria)

Abstract

This article analyses problems which gain new popularity among economist in the context of the ongoing Fourth industrial revolution. Why is the ubiquitous decrease of work hours still not happening that was predicted by social scientists in the late 19th and the beginning of the 20th century? Why do individuals not reassign time towards leisure and creative activities in the wake of the constant rise of technological productivity? What impact on happiness have the ever increasing wants and the comparisons with others? Most people assume that they would be happier if only they were richer. The results of subjective wellbeing studies generally contradict this widespread belief. The insights of happiness economics put the detailed study of the factors for the subjective wellbeing and the possibilities to influence it back in the center of economic research through a more enhanced knowledge of human psychology than the conventional economic assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Teodor Sedlarski, 2018. "Happiness Economics: The Relative Nature of Human Subjective Wellbeing," Nauchni trudove, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 3, pages 19-44, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwe:natrud:y:2018:i:3:p:19-44
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    File URL: http://unwe-research-papers.org/bg/journalissues/article/9983
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective wellbeing; happiness; relative income; absolute income; conspicuous consumption; social status; cardinal utility;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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