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Subjective Well-Being, Politics and Political Economy

  • Bruno S. Frey

Happiness research has significantly extended our knowledge about the factors determining individual well-being. Several prominent scholars concluded that governments should engage in maximizing happiness. This approach is based on a technocratic notion that politicians are omniscient benevolent dictators.In contrast, the constitutional approach considers individuals as citizens who, behind the veil of ignorance, choose political rules producing the best possible outcome. Citizens are aware of the Manipulation Principle stating that government tends to distort official happiness indicators in its favour. Citizens therefore demand extensive democratic participation rights allowing them to pursue the kind of happiness they desire.

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Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 147 (2011)
Issue (Month): IV (December)
Pages: 397-415

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2011-iv-3
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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Economic Consequences of Mispredicting Utility," IEW - Working Papers 218, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," IEW - Working Papers 190, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 2.
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  7. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  8. Valérie Prycker, 2010. "Happiness on the Political Agenda? PROS and CONS," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(5), pages 585-603, October.
  9. Bruno S. Frey, 2011. "Tullock Challenges: Happiness, Revolutions and Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3460, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Hendrik Wolff & Howard Chong & Maximilian Auffhammer, 2010. "Classification, Detection and Consequences of Data Error: Evidence from the Human Development Index," NBER Working Papers 16572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2008. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages S217-S251, 06.
  12. Barrotta, Pierluigi, 2008. "Why Economists Should Be Unhappy With The Economics Of Happiness," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 145-165, July.
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  14. Gibbard, Allan, 1973. "Manipulation of Voting Schemes: A General Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 587-601, July.
  15. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," NBER Working Papers 9413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Satterthwaite, Mark Allen, 1975. "Strategy-proofness and Arrow's conditions: Existence and correspondence theorems for voting procedures and social welfare functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-217, April.
  17. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877.
  18. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "Good, Bad or Ugly?on the Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting," IMF Working Papers 00/172, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2003. "Reported Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge for Economic Theory and Economic Policy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  20. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
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  22. Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Happiness: A Revolution in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062771, December.
  23. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
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  25. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "Paternalism and Psychology," NBER Working Papers 11789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Martha C. Nussbaum, 2008. "Who Is the Happy Warrior? Philosophy Poses Questions to Psychology," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages S81-S113, 06.
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