Perspectives from the Happiness Literature and the Role of New Instruments for Policy Analysis

Posted: 2 Jul 2008

See all articles by B.M.S. van Praag

B.M.S. van Praag

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Abstract

After having been ignored for a long time by economists, happiness is becoming an object of serious research in 21st century economics. In we sketch the present status of happiness economics. In we consider the practical applicability of happiness economics, retaining the assumption of ordinal individual utilities. In we introduce a cardinal utility concept, which seems to us the natural consequence of the happiness economics methodology. In we sketch how this approach can lead to a normative approach to policy problems that is admissible from a positivist point of view. concludes.

Keywords: Happiness economics, subjective well-being, equivalence scales, economic policy

JEL Classification: B21, B41, D63, I31, I38

Suggested Citation

van Praag, Bernard, Perspectives from the Happiness Literature and the Role of New Instruments for Policy Analysis. CESifo Economic Studies, Vol. 53, Issue 1, pp. 42-68, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154444 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cesifo/ifm002

Bernard Van Praag (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

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Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam

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