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Handbook On The Economics Of Happiness

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Handbook On The Economics Of Happiness

Luigino Bruni , Pier Luigi Porta

Edited by Luigino Bruni, Professor of Economics, LUMSA University, Rome, Italy and Pier Luigi Porta, Professor of Economics, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

2007 640 pp Hardback 978 1 84376 826 5

Hardback $282.00 on-line price $253.80


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‘Whether you’re looking for economic realities expressed through mathematical formulae, classical history, Immanuel Kant’s ethics, or sustainable development, there’s something here for you. . . I suggest that you read it.’
– Citizen’s Income

Contents: Introduction Part I: Lessons from the Past Part II: Understanding the Paradox of Happiness Part III: Relational Goods Part IV: Data and Policies Index Contributors: S. Bartolini, L. Becchetti, M. Bianchi, S.A. Borrego, L. Bruni, M. Chekola, M. Cogoy, D. Cox, S. Cremaschi, L. Crivelli, J. de Jesus Garcia, G. Domenighetti, S. Drakopoulos, M. Filippini, N.C. Fuentes, G. Grimalda, M.E.L. Guidi, M. Guillen Royo, M.D. Gutierrez, J. Hirata, J.R. Irwin, A. Karayiannis, S. Marzetti Dall’Aste Brandolini, A. Peiró, V. Pelligra, P.L. Porta, N. Powdthavee, M. Pugno, R. Raghunathan, L. Sacconi, M. Santoro, R. Scazzieri, O. Stark, A. Tapia, M. Vendrik, G. Vivenza, L. Zarri

Further information

‘Whether you’re looking for economic realities expressed through mathematical formulae, classical history, Immanuel Kant’s ethics, or sustainable development, there’s something here for you. . . I suggest that you read it.’
– Citizen’s Income

‘After many years of neglect, the topic of happiness is returning to the agenda of economics. This wide-ranging collection of papers considers the significance of happiness for economic theory and policy, drawing on ideas from psychology, philosophy and history as well as economics itself. In stressing the importance of sociality as a source of happiness, the authors open up new territory for social science.’
– Robert Sugden, University of East Anglia, UK

This book is a welcome consolidation and extension of the recent expanding debates on happiness and economics. Happiness and economics, as a new field for research, is now of pivotal interest particularly to welfare economists and psychologists.

This Handbook provides an unprecedented forum for discussion of the economic issues relating to happiness. It reviews the more recent literature and offers the interested reader an insight into the vast scope of the field in terms of the theory, its applications and also experimental design. The Handbook also gives substantial indications as to the future direction of research in the field, with particular regard to policy applications and developing an economics of interpersonal relations which includes reciprocity and social interaction theory.

Reflecting the contribution of a major research activity on the study of happiness, economics and interpersonal relations, this book will be of great interest to economists and psychologists in general, as well as welfare economists and postgraduate scholars of cooperation, welfare, social planning, non-profit, corporate social responsibility and related fields.

Full table of contents


Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta

1. Happiness, Wealth and Utility in Ancient Thought
Gloria Vivenza

2. The ‘Technology of Happiness’ and the Tradition of Economic Science
Luigino Bruni

3. Human Needs Hierarchy and Happiness: Evidence from the Late Pre-Classical and Classical Economics
Stravos Drakopoulos and Anastasios Karayiannis

4. Jeremy Bentham’s Quantitative Analysis of Happiness and its Asymmetries
Marco E.L. Guidi

5. Public Happiness and Civil Society
Pier Luigi Porta and Roberto Scazzieri

6. Kant on Civilization, Moralization and the Paradox of Happiness
Sergio Cremaschi

7. If Happiness is so Important, Why Do We Know So Little About It?
Marina Bianchi

8. Well-being and Consumption: Towards a Theoretical Approach Based on Human Need Satisfaction
Monica Guillen Royo

9. Enjoyment of Life, the Structure of Time and Economic Dynamics
Mario Cogoy

10. Experienced Versus Decision Utility of Income: Relative or Absolute Happiness
Maarten Vendrik and Johannes Hirata

11. Past Product Experiences as Determinants of Happiness with Target Product Experiences: Implications for Subjective Well-being
Rajagopal Raghunathan and Julie R. Irwin

12. The Life Plan View of Happiness and the Paradoxes of Happiness
Mark Chekola

13. The Income–Unhappiness Paradox: A Relational Goods/Baumol Disease Explanation
Leonardo Becchetti and Marika Santoro

14. The Subjective Well-being Paradox: A Suggested Solution Based on Relational Goods
Maurizio Pugno

15. The Not-So-Fragile Fragility of Goodness: The Responsive Quality of Fiduciary Relationships
Vittorio Pelligra

16. Happiness, Morality and Game Theory
Luca Zarri

17. Why are People so Unhappy? Why do They Strive so Hard for Money? Competing Explanations of the Broken Promises of Economic Growth
Stefano Bartolini

18. On the Demand for Grandchildren: Tied Transfers and the Demonstration Effect
Donald Cox and Oded Stark

19. Values and Happiness in Mexico: The Case of the Metropolitan City of Monterrey
Jose de Jesus Garcia, Nicole Christa Fuentes, Salvador A. Borrego, Monica D. Gutierrez and Alejandro Tapia

20. Happiness, Satisfaction and Socioeconomic Conditions: Some International Evidence
Amado Peiró

21. Happiness and the Standard of Living: The Case of South Africa
Nattavudh Powdthavee

22. Federalism Versus Social Citizenship: Investigating the Preference for Equity in Health Care
Luca Crivelli, Gianfranco Domenighetti and Massimo Filippini

23. Happiness and Sustainability: A Modern Paradox
Silva Marzetti Dall’Aste Brandolini

24. Ideals, Conformism and Reciprocity: A Model of Individual Choice with Conformist Motivations, and an Application to the Not-for-Profit Case
Lorenzo Sacconi and Gianluca Grimalda


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