Political Economy of Happiness

XV Conference of Applied Economics, A Coruña, 6-9 June 2012

11 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2013

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Jana Gallus

UCLA Anderson

Date Written: June 5, 2012


Happiness research has been a great success by yielding new and important insights. These results are often used in a technocratic manner: governments should maximize, or at least raise, the subjective well-being of the population measured by the national happiness index. Yet the government has strong incentives and a wide range of possibilities to manipulate this index to its advantage.

Happiness policy must be part of the normal democratic process where divergent views are considered and aggregated. In particular, competition between parties is a prerequisite for the insights from happiness research put to the benefit of the citizens.

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Gallus, Jana, Political Economy of Happiness (June 5, 2012). XV Conference of Applied Economics, A Coruña, 6-9 June 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2347570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2347570

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

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

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002

Jana Gallus

UCLA Anderson ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.janagallus.com/

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