Well-Being and Economics

In Guy Fletcher (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being (London: Routledge, 2015). ISBN 978-0-415-71453-2

GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 15-1

26 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2015 Last revised: 13 Feb 2015

See all articles by Erik Angner

Erik Angner

Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University; Institute for Futures Studies; Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science

Date Written: January 15, 2015

Abstract

This chapter explores accounts of individual and social welfare underlying contemporary welfare economics. It argues that there is a one-to-one mapping between three prominent approaches to welfare assessment and three philosophical accounts of individual well-being: while standard economics is based on preference-satisfaction accounts, the economics of happiness is based on mental-state accounts, and the social-indicators / capability approach on objective-list accounts. Moreover, it argues that at least standard economics and the economics of happiness are based on some utilitarian social welfare criterion. The discussion underscores how economists both use and produce philosophy in their scientific practice, and consequently how economists and philosophers may have much to learn from each other.

Keywords: Well-Being, Welfare, Happiness, Capability, Social Indicators, Utilitarianism

JEL Classification: B40, D60

Suggested Citation

Angner, Erik, Well-Being and Economics (January 15, 2015). In Guy Fletcher (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being (London: Routledge, 2015). ISBN 978-0-415-71453-2 ; GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 15-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2551037

Erik Angner (Contact Author)

Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 D
Frescati
Stockholm, 106 91
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://erikangner.com

Institute for Futures Studies ( email )

Holländargatan 13
Stockholm, SE-101 31
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.iffs.se/en/research/researchers/erik-angner-1/

Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science ( email )

400P Truland Building
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ices.gmu.edu/people/affiliated-faculty

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