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From ’Full Life’ to ’Balanced Life’: Extending Martin Seligman’s Route to Happiness

  • Aloys Prinz
  • Björn Bünger
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    In this paper, a formalization of Martin Seligman’s concept of full life is presented by employing basic microeconomics. With the formalized version of the concept, it can be explained why people differ with respect to the levels of pleasant, engaged and meaningful life they are trying to realize. Moreover, it is suggested to extend Seligman’s concept of full life to the concept of balanced life. This extension requires that in addition to differences in people’s preferences regarding aspects of life also differences in the time opportunity costs are to be taken into account. Finally, a scorecard-approach is proposed to track personal advancement in the process of life balancing.

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    Paper provided by Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary in its series Working Papers with number 200115.

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    Handle: RePEc:muc:wpaper:200115
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    1. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jungmin Lee, 2007. "Stressed Out on Four Continents: Time Crunch or Yuppie Kvetch?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 374-383, May.
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    6. Kathleen Lloyd & Christopher Auld, 2002. "The Role of Leisure in Determining Quality of Life: Issues of Content and Measurement," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 43-71, January.
    7. Jacolyn Norrish & Dianne Vella-Brodrick, 2008. "Is the Study of Happiness a Worthy Scientific Pursuit?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 87(3), pages 393-407, July.
    8. Yew-Kwang Ng, 1999. "Utility, informed preference, or happiness: Following Harsanyi's argument to its logical conclusion," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 197-216.
    9. Christopher Peterson & Nansook Park & Martin Seligman, 2005. "Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: the full life versus the empty life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 25-41, 03.
    10. Yoshitaka Iwasaki, 2007. "Leisure and quality of life in an international and multicultural context: what are major pathways linking leisure to quality of life?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(2), pages 233-264, June.
    11. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur Stone, 2004. "Toward National Well-Being Accounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 429-434, May.
    12. Michael Rauscher, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 35-42, February.
    13. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
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