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Well-being and war

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  • Bruno Frey

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Abstract

Happiness research has dealt with a great number of determinants of well-being but has neglected the effect of war. Wars drastically reduce people’s happiness. The large psychic costs of soldiers, the suffering of civilians, and the material destruction are well documented. An important issue for happiness research is how to calculate the forgone well-being of the people killed in war. Wars may also increase happiness by providing shared experiences, raising national pride, and “ennobling” people. “Combat flow” increases an individual soldier’s subjective happiness. Deep issues are elicited regarding what type of happiness is legitimate. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Frey, 2012. "Well-being and war," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 59(4), pages 363-375, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:inrvec:v:59:y:2012:i:4:p:363-375
    DOI: 10.1007/s12232-012-0146-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Ivlevs, Artjoms, 2015. "Happy Moves? Assessing the Link Between Life Satisfaction and Emigration Intentions," IZA Discussion Papers 9017, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Gunes Gokmen & Evgeny Yakovlev, 2017. "War and Well-Being in Transition: Russo-Georgian Conflict as a Natural Experiment," Working Papers w0243, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    3. Artjoms Ivlevs, 2015. "Happy Moves? Assessing the Link between Life Satisfaction and Emigration Intentions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 335-356, August.
    4. Artjoms Ivlevs, 2014. "Happy moves? Assessing the impact of subjective well-being on the emigration decision," Working Papers 20141402, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Well-being; Happiness; Flow; Military conflict; War; Combat; D60; F50; H56; I31; N44;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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