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HappinessA Revolution in Economics$
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Bruno S. Frey

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262062770

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262062770.001.0001

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Research on Happiness

Research on Happiness

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Research on Happiness
Source:
Happiness
Author(s):

Bruno S. Frey

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262062770.003.0001

Many consider happiness to be the ultimate goal in life. Individual well-being is tied to economics, or more precisely, economic growth, unemployment, inflation, and inequality, as well as institutional factors such as good governance. There is evidence that subjective well-being is a much more accurate measure of individual welfare than income. In general, the terms “happiness,” “well-being,” and “life satisfaction” are used interchangeably. Aside from intrinsic interest in happiness, economists have a variety of reasons to study the subject. Research on happiness can contribute to the core of economics in the future via two different ways: utility and theory testing. The connection between happiness and economic policy stems from the manner in which individual well-being is influenced by institutional conditions on happiness (for example, the quality of governance and the size of social capital). In addition to economics, the literature on happiness spans a wide range of disciplines, from philosophy to psychology, sociology, and political science.

Keywords:   happiness, welfare, well-being, economics, income, life satisfaction, utility, theory testing, economic policy, good governance

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