Book Review: Law and Happiness, Edited by Eric A. Posner and Cass R. Sunstein, the University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 2010
Jeffrey Lynch Harrison
University of Florida - Levin College of Law
September 28, 2010
This review examines why it is difficult to discuss happiness and the issued that arise in any such discussion. It also identifies the overall themes found in Law and Happiness. Indeed, even the use of the word “happiness” as a topic is terribly imprecise. What it means may vary from reader to reader. Then the review assesses how this collection of writings can assist in linking one notion or another of happiness with actual policy. Ultimately, whether intentionally or not, the collection reveals how far we are from a consensus on what should count in an assessment of happiness and how much enhancing happiness, however defined, can be used in determining policy. Thus, although, the individual contributions to Law and Happiness are of the highest quality, together they illustrate there is much work still left to be done.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: Sunstein, happiness, efficiency, relative deprivation, hedonic
JEL Classification: A11, A14, D70
Date posted: September 28, 2010
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