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L'économie du bonheur peut-elle renouveler l'économie du bien-être?

  • Lucie Davoine

    ()

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, CEE - Centre d'études de l'emploi - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Santé)

This article questions the increasing use of “happiness” or “subjective well-being” in order to evaluate public policies and social conditions. In more scientific words, can the blossoming economics of happiness revive the economics of welfare, which is said to be dying? The first section puts economics of happiness in the history of economic thought. The second part presents the methodological arguments and proofs of happiness data relevance, as well the results that open on welfare economics renewal and unusual political recommendations. The last part concludes that happiness is a useful criterion to evaluate society's state, but should not be the only one: happiness data can allow avoiding paternalism and ethnocentrism, for example, but happiness economics face several and serious challenges that should prevent researchers from transforming satisfaction scores into the only barometer of public action.

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Date of creation: 28 Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00276218
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