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The Economic Problem of Happiness: Keynes on Happiness and Economics

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  • Anna Carabelli
  • Mario Cedrini

Abstract

By stressing the substantial continuity of vision between John Maynard Keynes’s early unpublished essays and his more mature writings, the paper discusses Keynes’s ethics and focuses on his thoughts about happiness. In particular, we emphasize the anti-utilitarianism of Keynes’s vision and his belief that material wealth is but a precondition to enjoy the possibilities of a good life, and direct attention to problems of incommensurability raised by the multidimensional nature of happiness as considered by Keynes. We then argue that the rediscovery of Keynes’s legacy in this respect may be a precious counterweight to the most controversial aspects of today’s happiness research.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Carabelli & Mario Cedrini, 2011. "The Economic Problem of Happiness: Keynes on Happiness and Economics," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 335-359, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fosoec:v:40:y:2011:i:3:p:335-359
    DOI: 10.1007/s12143-010-9085-2
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna M. Carabelli & Mario A. Cedrini, 2010. ">i>Indian Currency>/i> and beyond: the legacy of the early economics of Keynes in the times of Bretton Woods II," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 255-280, January.
    2. Anna Carabelli, 2012. "A new methodological approach to economic theory: what I have learnt from 30 years of research on Keynes," Chapters, in: Jesper Jespersen & Mogens Ove Madsen (ed.), Keynes’s General Theory for Today, chapter 5, pages 79-97, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Carabelli, Anna M. & Cedrini, Mario, 2013. "Globalization and Keynes’s Ideal of a “Sounder Political Economy between all Nations," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201349, University of Turin.
    4. Jörg Bibow, 2010. "Global imbalances, the US dollar, and how the crisis at the core of global finance spread to "self-insuring" emerging market economies," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 7(2), pages 325-359.
    5. Carabelli, Anna & Cedrini, Mario, 2013. "A Methodological Reading of "The Economic Consequences of the Peace"," CESMEP Working Papers 201304, University of Turin.
    6. Anna M. Carabelli & Mario A. Cedrini, 2010. "“Veiling The Controversies with Dubious Moral Attitudes”? Creditors and Debtors in Keynes’s Ethics of International Economic Relations," Working Papers 127, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    7. Ricardo Crespo & Belén Mesurado, 2015. "Happiness Economics, Eudaimonia and Positive Psychology: From Happiness Economics to Flourishing Economics," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 931-946, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals

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