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The Economics of Happiness

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  • Carol Graham

Abstract

The economics of happiness is an approach to assessing welfare that combines economists’ techniques with those of psychologists, and relies on more expansive notions of utility than does conventional economics. Research based on this approach highlights the factors—in addition to income—that affect well-being. It is well suited to informing questions in areas where revealed preferences provide limited information, such as the welfare effects of inequality and of macroeconomic policies such as inflation and unemployment. One such question is the gap between economists’ assessments of the aggregate benefits of the globalization process and the more pessimistic assessments that are typical of the general public. The paper summarizes research on some of these questions, and in particular on those relevant to globalization, poverty, and inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol Graham, 2005. "The Economics of Happiness," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(3), pages 41-55, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:214
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    1. John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee & Carol Graham, 2019. "Income inequality and well-being in the U.S.: evidence of geographic-scale- and measure-dependence," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(3), pages 415-434, September.
    2. Chu, Shuai & Zeng, Xiangquan & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2020. "Parental Gender Stereotypes and Student Wellbeing in China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 717, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Martijn Burger & Martijn Hendriks & Elena Ianchovichina, 2022. "Happy but Unequal: Differences in Subjective Well-Being across Individuals and Space in Colombia," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 1343-1387, June.
    4. Cosimato, Silvia & Faggini, Marisa & Prete, Marzia del, 2021. "The co-creation of value for pursuing a sustainable happiness: The analysis of an Italian prison community," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    5. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2020. "Now Unions Increase Job Satisfaction and Well-being," NBER Working Papers 27720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Tyurina, Elena & Nagapetyan, Artur, 2022. "The economic value of the Glass Beach: Contingent valuation and life satisfaction approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    7. Tofallis, Chris, 2020. "Which formula for national happiness?," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    8. Hetschko, Clemens & Knabe, Andreas & Schöb, Ronnie, 2021. "Happiness, Work, and Identity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 783, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Nikolova, Milena & Nikolaev, Boris & Boudreaux, Christopher, 2021. "Being your own boss and bossing others: The moderating effect of managing others on work meaning and autonomy for the self-employed and employees," GLO Discussion Paper Series 993, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    10. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Smyth, Russell & Farrell, Lisa, 2020. "Fuel poverty and subjective wellbeing," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    11. Suppa, Nicolai, 2021. "Unemployment and subjective well-being," GLO Discussion Paper Series 760, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. Mojca Svetek & Mateja Drnovsek, 2022. "Exploring the Effects of Types of Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity on Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 149-170, January.
    13. Marina G. Kolosnitsyna & Natalia A. Khorkina & Khongor N. Dorzhiev, 2014. "What Happens To Happiness When People Get Older? Socio-Economic Determinants Of Life Satisfaction In Later Life," HSE Working papers WP BRP 68/EC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    14. Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Nikolova, Milena & Popova, Olga, 2021. "Double-edged sword: Persistent effects of Communism on life satisfaction," GLO Discussion Paper Series 927, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    15. Pablo de Pedraza & Martin Guzi & Kea Tijdens, 2020. "Life Dissatisfaction and Anxiety in COVID-19 pandemic," MUNI ECON Working Papers 2020-03, Masaryk University.
    16. Burger,Martijn & Hendriks,Martijn & Ianchovichina,Elena, 2022. "Anatomy of Brazil’s Subjective Well-Being : A Tale of Growing Discontent and Polarization in the 2010s," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9924, The World Bank.
    17. Dimitris Ballas & Ilias Thanis, 2022. "Exploring the Geography of Subjective Happiness in Europe During the Years of the Economic Crisis: A Multilevel Modelling Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 105-137, November.
    18. Pełka Marcin, 2019. "Analysis of Happiness in EU Countries Using the Multi-Model Classification based on Models of Symbolic Data," Econometrics. Advances in Applied Data Analysis, Sciendo, vol. 23(3), pages 15-25, September.

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