IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

Relational goods and happiness data

In: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life


  • Alessandra Pelloni


A fundamental question for economic analysis is how successful an economy is at delivering welfare for its members. According to virtually all cultural traditions, non-instrumental social relations, which we refer to as relational goods, are indeed necessary for a good life. However, relational goods are quintessentially gratuitous and cannot therefore be exchanged through markets or produced by the State. For these reasons their social value cannot enter GDP calculations and risks being ignored in our public discourse. In the past the quantitative evaluation of the impact of relational goods on welfare was just impossible. This is no longer true thanks to the increasing availability of data on subjective well-being (and on social activities themselves). Findings from these data strongly confirm the importance of social ties for our welfare and urge us to give up the anthropological reductionism still characterizing much of economic research.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Pelloni, 2016. "Relational goods and happiness data," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life, chapter 20, pages 448-466 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:15606_20

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Castriota, Stefano, 2008. "Does money affect happiness and self-esteem? The poor borrowers' perspective in a quasi-natural experiment," AICCON Working Papers 48-2008, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.

    More about this item


    Economics and Finance; Research Methods;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:15606_20. 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: (Darrel McCalla). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.