Happiness, economics and politics : toward a multi-disciplinary approach
Place of publication
978-1-84844-093-7 (hbk.) ; 1-84844-093-6 (hbk.)
Economic policy, happiness, life satisfaction, political economy, social welfare, utility
Cross-disciplinary ‘happiness research’ has made big progress in the measurementof individual welfare. This development makes it tempting to pursue the old dream ofmaximizing aggregate happiness as a social welfare function. However, we postulate that theappropriate approach is not to maximize aggregate happiness in seeking to improve outcomesby direct policy interventions. The goal of happiness research should rather be to improve thenature of the processes through which individuals can express their preferences. Individualsshould become better able to advance their idea of the good life, both individually andcollectively.