Happiness in Economics


Happiness in Economics

9781840647549 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Richard A. Easterlin, University Professor, University of Southern California, US
Publication Date: 2002 ISBN: 978 1 84064 754 9 Extent: 272 pp

Happiness in Economics presents a selection of the most important economics articles on individuals’ subjective well-being. The volume demonstrates that economics is relevant for people’s happiness.

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Happiness in Economics presents a selection of the most important economics articles on individuals’ subjective well-being. The volume demonstrates that economics is relevant for people’s happiness.

Part I includes key early papers on happiness and income, determinants of the happiness-income relationship, and policy implications, as well as the Leyden analysis of income norms. Part II contains recent analyses of the determinants of happiness.

This fascinating and innovative collection will provide invaluable information and analysis for students, researchers and policymakers.
Critical Acclaim
‘Economic psychologists – in fact all economists – should welcome Richard Easterlin’s Happiness in Economics . . . Richard Easterlin is a felicitous choice as editor of this volume. He provides an excellent short introduction, and the readings included are well anchored by this classic 1974 article “Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence”. . . Easterlin’s volume should rank high on our list of required readings. The articles he has chosen provide an excellent overview of the subject. What makes a volume of this sort work is the thoughtfulness and discrimination of the editor, and Easterlin is to be congratulated . . . I heartily recommend Happiness in Economics.’
– Alan J. MacFadyen, Journal of Economic Psychology

‘I am delighted that Professor Easterlin, the most well-known forerunner in the analysis of income and happiness, has assembled a volume comprising excellent contributions in this most important area. As happiness is the ultimate objective of life, the collection deserves the close reading of all students in economics.’
– Yew-Kwang Ng, Monash University, Australia and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

‘Richard Easterlin has pioneered the study of happiness in economics. This book assembles an impressive collection of articles. It demonstrates the major insights gained by integrating individuals’ subjective satisfaction in order to better understand how the economy works. The study of happiness injects new life into economics.’
– Bruno S. Frey, University of Zurich, Switzerland

‘If you are on leave for a year, headed for a desert island with space in your boat for only one book, I suggest you take this volume. Its topic matters more than any other in social science. And at last, after three decades, economists are starting to pay attention to Richard Easterlin and the emerging literature on the economics of happiness that he began. This book raises profound issues for western society, where it is going, and what we might be able to do to improve our own and our grandchildren’s lives.’
– Andrew Oswald, Warwick University, UK
15 articles, dating from 1974 to 2001
Contributors include: R.H. Frank, B. Frey, A. Kapteyn, R. Layard, Y.-K. Ng, A.J. Oswald, T. Scitovsky, A. Sen, A. Stutzer, B.M.S. Van Praag
Introduction Richard A. Easterlin
A Happiness and Income
1. Richard A. Easterlin (1974), ‘Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence’
B Determinants of the Happiness-Income Relationship
2. Jeffrey Friedman and Adam McCabe (1996), ‘Preferences or Happiness? Tibor Scitovsky’s Psychology of Human Needs’
3. Tibor Scitovsky (1996), ‘My Own Criticism of The Joyless Economy’
4. Yew-Kwang Ng (1978), ‘Economic Growth and Social Welfare: The Need for a Complete Study of Happiness’
C Policy Implications
5. Robert H. Frank (1997), ‘The Frame of Reference as a Public Good’
6. R. Layard (1980), ‘Human Satisfactions and Public Policy’
D The Leyden Analysis of Income Norms
7. Bernard M.S. van Praag and Paul Frijters (1999), ‘The Measurement of Welfare and Well-Being: The Leyden Approach’
8. Huib van de Stadt, Arie Kapteyn and Sara van de Geer (1985), ‘The Relativity of Utility: Evidence from Panel Data’
9. Arie Kapteyn (2001), ‘Relative Utility and Income Growth: An Example’
10. Andrew J. Oswald (1997), ‘Happiness and Economic Performance’
11. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald (1994), ‘Unhappiness and Unemployment’
12. Rafael Di Tella, Robert J. MacCulloch and Andrew J. Oswald (2001), ‘Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness’
13. Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer (2000), ‘Happiness, Economy and Institutions’
14. Richard A. Easterlin (2001), ‘Income and Happiness: Towards a Unified Theory’
15. Amartya Sen (1996), ‘Rationality, Joy and Freedom’
Name Index
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