A Note on Political Happiness

19 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2009

Date Written: December 2008


The level of happiness of an individual who accepts the consequences of authoritative policy decisions is a whole different concept from the utility that is delivered to the same individual by these policies and depends on all the range of elements that compose the political environment. The paper proposes a way of how happiness should be studied in the theoretical level, from an economics oriented set of basic assumptions and goals. The basic idea, that inspires the formal description of happiness, is the importance of awareness of policy and decision rule alternatives in this direction. Building, on the solid Downsian framework, the model investigates how the introduction in the awareness of the society of new policies or new decision rules, influence the individual and social level of happiness and, thereafter, the optimal policy choices of an ideology oriented authority. The main result, indicates that a change in the policy (or decision rule) awareness on behalf of the society might lead to a direct alteration of the authority's implemented policy, i.e. if the society becomes aware of a better policy (in social terms) than the one implemented today, the authority might need to implement something better for the citizens, even if this new policy assigns a lower utility level to the authority.

Keywords: happiness, political economy, authority

Suggested Citation

Xefteris, Dimitrios, A Note on Political Happiness (December 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1475601 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1475601

Dimitrios Xefteris (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia

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