Regulation, Deregulation, and Happiness
31 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2010 Last revised: 19 Sep 2015
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: Suggested Citation