Political Economy of Happiness
XV Conference of Applied Economics, A Coruña, 6-9 June 2012
11 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2013
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.
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