Comparing Interpersonal Comparisons in Utility Theory and Happiness Research
Social scientists are reluctant to make explicit interpersonal comparisons of well-being. However, implicit comparisons are made on a surprisingly regular basis. These comparisons are based on the wealth and the Kaldor--Hicks concept in utility theory and on self-reported well-being in happiness research. Taking a utilitarian stance, this paper tests the ethical foundations of both principles. While self-reported well-being serves as an acceptable proxy for utilitarian decision-making, the Kaldor--Hicks concept does not appear so. Implications for evaluating policies are outlined.
Volume (Year): 36 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RFSE20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RFSE20|
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.:
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2004.
"Happiness Research: State and Prospects,"
CREMA Working Paper Series
2004-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Bruno S. Frey, . "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," IEW - Working Papers 192, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," IEW - Working Papers 190, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Nick Hanley & Clive Spash & Lorna Walker, 1994.
"Problems in Valuing the Benefits of Biodiversity Protection,"
Working Papers Series
94/8, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
- Nick Hanley & Clive Spash & Lorna Walker, 1995. "Problems in valuing the benefits of biodiversity protection," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(3), pages 249-272, April.
- Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, .
"Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox,"
IEW - Working Papers
151, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Joar Vittersø, 2004. "Subjective Well-Being versus Self-Actualization: Using the Flow-Simplex to Promote a Conceptual Clarification of Subjective Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 65(3), pages 299-331, February.
- J. Varelius, 2004. "Objective Explanations of Individual Well-being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 73-91, March.
- Tim Kasser & Kennon Sheldon, 2002. "What Makes for a Merry Christmas?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 313-329, December.
- Krutilla, John V., 1981. "Reflections of an applied welfare economist : Presidential Address Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists September 6, 1980, Denver, Colorado," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-10, March.
- Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
- Drusilla K. Brown & Robert M. Stern, 2000.
"Measurement and Modeling of the Economic Effects of Trade and Investment Barriers in Services,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
0001, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Brown, Drusilla K & Stern, Robert M, 2001. "Measurement and Modeling of the Economic Effects of Trade and Investment Barriers in Services," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 262-86, May.
- Brown, D.K. & Stern, R.M., 1999. "Measurement and Modeling of the Economic Effects of Trade and Investment Barriers in Services," Working Papers 453, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
- Hasman, Andreas & sterdal, Lars Peter, 2004. "Equal Value Of Life And The Pareto Principle," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 19-33, April.
- Edi Karni, 2003. "Impartiality and interpersonal comparisons of variations in well-being," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(1), pages 95-111, 08.
- Mario F. Teisl & Nancy E. Bockstael & Alan Levy, 2001. "Measuring the Welfare Effects of Nutrition Information," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(1), pages 133-149.
- Thierry Baudassé & Patrick Villieu, 2001. "Introduction," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 111(3), pages 333-346.
- Dale W. Jorgenson & Daniel T. Slesnick, 1984. "Aggregate Consumer Behaviour and the Measurement of Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 369-392.
- Franklin M. Fisher & Jerome Rothenberg, 1961. "How Income Ought to be Distributed: Paradox Lost," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 162.
- Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 1999. "The Conflict between Notions of Fairness and the Pareto Principle," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 63-77, Fall.
- Franklin M. Fisher, 1987. "Household Equivalence Scales and Interpersonal Comparisons," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 519-524.
- Paolo Liberati, 2001. "The Distributional Effects of Indirect Tax Changes in Italy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 27-51, January.
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:fosoec:v:36:y:2007:i:1:p:29-42. 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: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.