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Pursuing Happiness

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  • Christian Schubert

Abstract

While research on subjective well-being abounds, comparatively little thought has been given to its practical policy implications. Two approaches to derive policy advice have emerged in the literature: One is organized in terms of the idea to maximize a hedonic social welfare function, the other focuses on the design of constitutional rules to facilitate the individuals' self-determined 'pursuit' of happiness. We suggest to substantiate what it means to 'pursue' happiness, in particular by drawing upon a psychologically informed account of preference learning. If extended in this direction, a notion of the pursuit of happiness has interesting practical policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Schubert, 2012. "Pursuing Happiness," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2012-01
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Binder & Leonhard K. Lades, 2015. "Autonomy-Enhancing Paternalism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 3-27, February.
    2. Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Opportunity And Preference Learning," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(02), pages 275-295, July.
    3. Garofalo, Maria Rosaria, 2011. "Il volontariato può sostenere lo sviluppo? Riflessioni metodologiche per la costruzione di un frame work teorico
      [Can the voluntary sector sustain the development path of an economy? Suggestions fo
      ," MPRA Paper 40008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht, 2014. "A general model of the innovation - subjective well-being nexus," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 377-397, April.
    5. Martin Binder, 2013. "Innovativeness and Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 561-578, April.
    6. Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming, 2014. "Life Satisfaction in Australia: Evidence from Ten Years of the HILDA Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 691-714, January.
    7. Jan Schnellenbach, 2016. "A Constitutional Economics Perspective on Soft Paternalism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 135-156, February.
    8. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    9. Pugno, Maurizio, 2014. "Scitovsky, behavioural economics, and beyond," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-29.
    10. Collewet, Marion, 2014. "Approaches to well-being, use of psychology and paternalism in economics," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-25.
    11. Christian Schubert & Andreas Chai, 2012. "Sustainable Consumption and Consumer Sovereignty," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-14, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    12. Lades, Leonhard K., 2014. "Impulsive consumption and reflexive thought: Nudging ethical consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 114-128.
    13. Martin Binder, 2014. "Subjective Well-Being Capabilities: Bridging the Gap Between the Capability Approach and Subjective Well-Being Research," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1197-1217, October.
    14. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    15. Schubert Christian, 2015. "Behavioral Economics: Anmerkungen zum gleichnamigen Buch von Hanno Beck," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 66(1), pages 428-436, January.
    16. Schubert Christian & Binder Martin, 2014. "Reconciling Normative and Behavioral Economics: An Application of the “Naturalistic Approach” to the Adaptation Problem," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(2-3), pages 350-365, April.
    17. Binder, Martin & Lades, Leonhard K, 2014. "Autonomy-enhancing paternalism," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-02, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective well-being; happiness; welfare economics; preference learning;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General

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