Regulation, Deregulation, and Happiness

31 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2010 Last revised: 19 Sep 2015

See all articles by Jeffrey Lynch Harrison

Jeffrey Lynch Harrison

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Date Written: December 7, 2010


Happiness, in general, is in many respects the topic du jour. A great deal of theoretical and empirical work has been devoted to dissecting it. Studies of happiness have crossed over to law, and the result is an addition to the long list of the list of “law and” interdisciplinary areas. In fact, in 2010, Eric Posner and Matthew Alder presented an excellent book of readings the title of which is Law and Happiness. Peter Henry Huang has written the definitive survey of law and happiness literature. My own writing has reflected on the promise of happiness research and the difficulties of implementing its teachings. Most of the interdisciplinary work evaluates the potential impact of happiness on policy or programs. For example, in response to evidence that hosting large scale sports events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl may not be unqualified economic successes, work is now being conducted to assess the impact of those events on happiness. The teachings of happiness scholarship have yet to be applied to the traditional rationales for business regulation and the issue of how regulation could be altered, if at all, by considerations of happiness. This is the topic to which most of what follows is devoted.

Keywords: Happiness, Regulation, Efficiency

JEL Classification: A12, K10, L51

Suggested Citation

Harrison, Jeffrey Lynch, Regulation, Deregulation, and Happiness (December 7, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey Lynch Harrison (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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