Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1397843
 
 

Citations (1)



 
 

Footnotes (15)



 


 



Welfare as Happiness


John Bronsteen


Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Christopher J. Buccafusco


Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law

Jonathan S. Masur


University of Chicago - Law School

August 10, 2009

Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 98, p. 1583, 2010
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 468
Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 08-31
Loyola University Chicago School of Law Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series No. 2009-007

Abstract:     
Perhaps the most important goal of law and policy is improving people’s lives. But what constitutes improvement? What is quality of life, and how can it be measured? In previous articles, we have used insights from the new field of hedonic psychology to analyze central questions in civil and criminal justice, and we now apply those insights to a broader inquiry: how can the law make life better? The leading accounts of human welfare in law, economics, and philosophy are preference-satisfaction - getting what one wants - and objective list approaches - possessing an enumerated set of capabilities. This Article argues against both major views and in favor of a third, defining welfare as subjective well-being. As a result, we advocate the replacement of cost-benefit analysis (CBA, the tool of the preference-based approach) with well-being analysis (WBA). Like its sibling CBA, WBA compares the costs and benefits associated with enacting some law or policy. But while CBA requires monetizing costs and benefits to make them commensurable, WBA simply considers their direct effects on reported well-being. Groundbreaking new research in hedonic psychology makes this possible, and we discuss how it can be accomplished.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 59

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 2, 2009 ; Last revised: August 14, 2012

Suggested Citation

Bronsteen, John and Buccafusco, Christopher J. and Masur, Jonathan S., Welfare as Happiness (August 10, 2009). Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 98, p. 1583, 2010; U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 468; Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 08-31; Loyola University Chicago School of Law Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series No. 2009-007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1397843

Contact Information

John Bronsteen
Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-654-1511 (Phone)
312-915-7201 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.luc.edu/law/faculty/bronsteen.shtml

Christopher J. Buccafusco
Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law ( email )
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States
312-906-5163 (Phone)

Jonathan S. Masur (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773.702.5188 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/masur/
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 4,537
Downloads: 911
Download Rank: 12,712
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  15
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.500 seconds