IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Paradox of Happiness: Evidence from the Late Pre-Classical and Classical Economic Thought

Listed author(s):
  • Drakopoulos, Stavros A.
  • Karayiannis, Anastassios

A number of studies have shown that considerable increases in real per capita income do not correspond to equivalent increases of reported individual happiness.This finding has been termed the paradox of happiness. The paper discusses this paradox by drawing from the history of economic thought. More specifically, it argues that the idea of basic and non-basic needs can be an alternative way of approaching this paradox. The basis of this idea can be found in pre-classical economic thought and also in the works of major classical economists. Thus, it is shown that preclassical and classical views on hierarchical consumption, basic needs and their links with happiness and material consumption might provide an alternative explanation of the happiness paradox.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/71657/1/MPRA_paper_71657.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 71657.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2007
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:71657
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Thorstein Veblen, 1899. "Mr. Cummings's Strictures on "The Theory of the Leisure Class"," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8, pages 106-106.
  2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  3. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  5. Ruut Veenhoven, 1991. "Is happiness relative?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, February.
  6. Luigino Bruni, 2004. "The 'Happiness transformation problem' in the Cambridge tradition," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 433-451.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  8. Ricardo, David, 1821. "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 3, number ricardo1821.
  9. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-1847, November.
  10. Lavoie, Marc, 2004. "Post Keynesian consumer theory: Potential synergies with consumer research and economic psychology," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 639-649, October.
  11. Phelps, Charlotte D., 2001. "A clue to the paradox of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 293-300, July.
  12. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
  13. Drakopoulos, S. A. & Karayiannis, A. D., 2004. "The Historical Development of Hierarchical Behavior in Economic Thought," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(03), pages 363-378, September.
  14. Luigino Bruni, 2007. "The ‘Technology of Happiness’ and the Tradition of Economic Science," Chapters, in: Handbook on the Economics of Happiness, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  15. Kenny, Charles, 1999. "Does Growth Cause Happiness, or Does Happiness Cause Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 3-25.
  16. Torrens, Robert, 1834. "On Wages and Combination," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number torrens1834.
  17. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
  18. Cosimo Perrotta, 1997. "The Preclassical Theory of Development: Increased Consumption Raises Productivity," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 295-326, Summer.
  19. Davide Fiaschi & Rodolfo Signorino, 2003. "Consumption patterns, development and growth: Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Thomas Robert Malthus," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 5-24.
  20. Frank Andrews, 1991. "Stability and change in levels and structure of subjective well-being: USA 1972 and 1988," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 1-30, August.
  21. Smith, Adam, 1776. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1776.
  22. Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Because It Is There: The Challenge of Mountaineering . . . for Utility Theory," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 315-343.
  23. Senior, Nassau William, 1831. "Three Lectures on the Rate of Wages," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number senior1831.
  24. Bentham, Jeremy, 1781. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number bentham1781.
  25. Michael Hagerty & Ruut Veenhoven, 2003. "Wealth and Happiness Revisited – Growing National Income Does Go with Greater Happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 1-27, October.
  26. M. G. Marshall, 2000. "Luxury, Economic Development, and Work Motivation: David Hume, Adam Smith, and J. R. McCulloch," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 631-648, Fall.
  27. Brewer, Anthony, 1998. "Luxury and Economic Development: David Hume and Adam Smith," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(1), pages 78-98, February.
  28. Drakopoulos, S A, 1994. " Hierarchical Choice in Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 133-153, June.
  29. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  30. Rae, John, 1834. "Statement of Some New Principles on the Subject of Political Economy," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number rae1834.
  31. Sismondi, Simonde de, 1815. "Political Economy," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number sismondi1815.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:71657. 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: (Joachim Winter)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.