IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Happiness Research: State and Prospects

  • Bruno Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

This paper intends to provide an evaluation of where the economic research on happiness stands and in which interesting directions it might develop. First, the current state of the research on happiness in economics is briefly discussed. We emphasize the potential of happiness research in testing competing theories of individual behavior. Second, the crucial issue of causality is taken up illustrating it for a particular case, namely whether marriage makes people happy or whether happy people get married. Third, happiness research is taken up as a new approach to measuring utility in the context of cost-benefit analysis.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Social Economy.

Volume (Year): 63 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 207-228

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:63:y:2005:i:2:p:207-228
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Wintrobe,Ronald, 1998. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583299, November.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Jonathan Gruber & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?," NBER Working Papers 8872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2005. "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IZA Discussion Papers 1811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bo Rothstein, 2000. "Trust, Social Dilemmas and Collective Memories," Journal of Theoretical Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 477-501, October.
  6. William Pavot & Ed Diener, 1993. "The affective and cognitive context of self-reported measures of subjective well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 1-20, January.
  7. Blaug, Mark, 2001. " Where Are We Now on Cultural Economics?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 123-43, April.
  8. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
  10. Frey, Bruno S. & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1994. "Economic incentives transform psychological anomalies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 215-234, March.
  11. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Willpower and Personal Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 3143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  13. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, 07.
  14. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  15. Paul R. Portney, 1994. "The Contingent Valuation Debate: Why Economists Should Care," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 3-17, Fall.
  16. Paul Frijters & Michael A Shileds & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos & Stephen Wheatley, 2003. "Testing for Employee Discrimination using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 168b, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  17. Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-35, December.
  18. Blomquist, Glenn C & Berger, Mark C & Hoehn, John P, 1988. "New Estimates of Quality of Life in Urban Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 89-107, March.
  19. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
  20. Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  21. Richard Carson & Robert Mitchell & Michael Hanemann & Raymond Kopp & Stanley Presser & Paul Ruud, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Lost Passive Use: Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(3), pages 257-286, July.
  22. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-94.
  23. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2005. "Denial of Death and Economic Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  25. Clark, Andrew E., 1997. "Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 341-372, December.
  26. Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Do Dropouts Drop Out Too Soon? Evidence from Changes in School-Leaving Laws," Working Papers oreo-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  27. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2004. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," CESifo Working Paper Series 1163, CESifo Group Munich.
  29. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
  30. Silvia Pezzini, 2005. "The Effect of Women's Rights on Women's Welfare: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages C208-C227, 03.
  31. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
  32. Rafael Lalive & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Approval of Equal Rights and Gender Differences in Well-Being," CESifo Working Paper Series 1245, CESifo Group Munich.
  33. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  34. Camerer, Colin & Loewenstein, George & Weber, Martin, 1989. "The Curse of Knowledge in Economic Settings: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1232-54, October.
  35. Gilad, Benjamin & Kaish, Stanley & Loeb, Peter D., 1987. "Cognitive dissonance and utility maximization : A general framework," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 61-73, March.
  36. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  37. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A, 2000. "Taking Another Look at the Gender/Job-Satisfaction Paradox," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 135-52.
  38. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  39. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
  40. Mussweiler, Thomas & Strack, Fritz, 2001. "The Semantics of Anchoring," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 234-255, November.
  41. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  42. Richard A. Easterlin (ed.), 2002. "Happiness in Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2479.
  43. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, . "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," IEW - Working Papers 184, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  44. Paul F. Whiteley (ed.), 1998. "Economic Policy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 996.
  45. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 39-59, 02.
  46. James Dow, 1991. "Search Decisions with Limited Memory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14.
  47. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
  48. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2004. "Measuring Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 10514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  50. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
  51. Rafael Lalive, 2007. "Do Wages Compensate for Workplace Disamenities?," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(3), pages 273-298.
  52. Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Injae, 2001. "Why Do Married Men Earn More: Productivity or Marriage Selection?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 307-19, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:63:y:2005:i:2:p:207-228. 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.