Foundations & Trends in Microeconomics: Vol. 6(1) pp 1-97
Authors: Bernard M. S. Van Praag; Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell
This paper deals with the concept of happiness in economics. Of late there has come into life a branch of happiness economics and it is this field that will be our concern. Actually, not only economists are interested in quantifications of happiness but also researchers in other disciplines. Notably there are several psychologists who investigate happiness as well. We mention Schimmack et al. (2002), Kahneman et al. (1999, 2006), Kahneman and Krueger (2006), Clark et al. (2008) and Lucas and Schimmack (2009). There are also some interconnections between happiness economists and psychologists as in the citations just mentioned. In this paper we will focus on happiness economics, although we will sometimes refer to work in other disciplines as well. Happiness economics is up to now an empirically oriented field. There is no attention for philosophical contemplations on happiness, the sense of life, etc. as we find in philosophy and religious studies (see, e.g., Feldman (2010), Nussbaum and Sen (1993), Haybron (2010) and Bok (2010) for a philosophical approach). We shall not touch on these issues in this tract.
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