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At the origin of the notion of “creative goods” in economics: Scitovsky and Hawtrey

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  • Antonio Bariletti

    (University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale)

  • Eleonora Sanfilippo

    (University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale)

Abstract

The notion of “creativity” has assumed a growing importance in the recent economic literature on happiness, motivations and life-satisfaction. Starting from the seminal contribution of Scitovsky, the effects of “creative goods” and “creative activities” on consumers’ well-being, in connection with cultural, sociological, psychological and educational aspects, have been analyzed. An increasing interest in these concepts has also been shown recently by policy-makers and international institutions (see, e.g., the UNCTAD Reports on Creative Economy, 2010, 2013), in particular in relation to economic growth. On the other hand, a clear and rigorous analytical definition of this category of goods and activities and deep investigation of its peculiarity in comparison with other types of products and activities, broadly defined as comfort or defensive ones, is still lacking in the economic literature. This is why, despite its wide use in economics, the nature of the distinction still remains somehow vague and not univocal. The aim of this paper is to provide a contribution to help clarify this distinction by reconstructing its meaning and scope in the works of Scitovsky (1976, 1992) and Hawtrey (1925) – the first economists who have tried to provide an analytical content to the notion of creative goods and activities in their theoretical frameworks.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Bariletti & Eleonora Sanfilippo, 2015. "At the origin of the notion of “creative goods” in economics: Scitovsky and Hawtrey," Working Papers 2015-02, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza.
  • Handle: RePEc:csn:wpaper:2015-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Peter Groenewegen, 1995. "A SOARING EAGLE: Alfred Marshall 1842–1924," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 193.
    10. Maurizio Pugno, 2014. "Scitovsky's The Joyless Economy and the economics of happiness," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 278-303, April.
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    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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