Recent Advances in the Economics of Individual Subjective Well-Being

35 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010

See all articles by Alois Stutzer

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Abstract

Over the last decades, empirical research on subjective well-being in the social sciences has provided a major new stimulus to the discourse on individual happiness. Recently this research has also been linked to economics where reported subjective wellbeing is often taken as a proxy measure for individual welfare. In our review, we intend to provide an evaluation of where the economic research on happiness stands and of three directions it might develop. First, it offers new ways for testing the basic assumptions of the economic approach and for going about a new understanding of utility. Second, it provides a new possibility for the complementary testing of theories across fields in economics. Third, we inquire how the insights gained from the study of individual happiness in economics affect public policy.

Keywords: economics, happiness, life satisfaction, survey data, income, public goods, unemployment

JEL Classification: A10, D60, H41, I31

Suggested Citation

Stutzer, Alois and Frey, Bruno S., Recent Advances in the Economics of Individual Subjective Well-Being. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4850. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1579572

Alois Stutzer (Contact Author)

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

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