Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happiness research

In the past everybody believed in the “Easterlin Paradox” suggesting that higher material well-being does not increase happiness (see Sir Richard Layard’s Lionel Robbins Memorial Lecture Part I, Part II, Part III). Recent research by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers suggests that material well-being does affect happiness (see here for a summary). This nice article by Robert Foa on the FT claims that it is not income but freedom (an older EJ paper by Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer is on Happiness and Democracy).

A fun book about happiness travel and the happiness project blog.

Other pioneers of happiness research in economics are Bruno Frey and Andrew Oswald.

Martin Wolf asks: should we always try to maximize happiness?

I once wrote a paper (with Monica Yanez) on happiness and economic reforms in Latin America (here), but I don’t think many people read it.
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