Economics and happiness : framing the analysis


Economics and happiness : framing the analysis

Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta

Oxford University Press, 2005

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Includes bibliographical references and index



This book is the first of its kind to provide a comprehensive overview of happiness in Economics. Although it is comparatively unusual to put happiness and economics together, the association appears increasingly exciting and fruitful. A number of studies have been produced following Richard Easterlins and Tibor Scitovskys pioneering works throughout the 1970s. The essays collected in this book provide an authoritative and comprehensive assessment both theoretical, applied and partly experimental of the whole field moving from the so-called paradoxes of happiness in Economics. The book breaks new ground, particularly on the more recent directions of research on happiness, well-being, interpersonal relations and reciprocity. The meaning of happiness is thoroughly explored and the tension between a hedonic-subjective idea of happiness and a eudaimonic-objective one is discussed. This volume opens with Richard Easterlins own assessment of the main issues. Other authors include Robert H. Frank, Robert Sugden, Bruno S. Frey, Alois Stutzer, Richard Layard, Martha C. Nussbaum, Matt Matravers, Bernard M.S, van Praag, Oded Stark, You Q. Wang, Ruut Veenhoven, Charlotte Phelps, Stefano Zamagni, and Luigi Pasinetti.


  • Introduction
  • 1. Building a Better Theory of Well-Being
  • 2. Does Absolute Income Matter?
  • 3. Correspondence of Sentiments
  • 4. Testing Theories of Happiness
  • 5. Rethinking Public Economics
  • 6. Mill Between Aristotle and Bentham
  • 7. Happiness and Political Philosophy
  • 8. The Connection Between Old and New Approaches to Financial Satisfaction
  • 9. Towards a Theory of Self-Segregation as a Response to Relative Deprivation
  • 10. Happiness in Hardship
  • 11. Happiness and Individualism
  • 12. The Evolution of Caring
  • 13. Paradoxes of Happiness in Economics

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