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Happiness, Economics And Politics

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Happiness, Economics And Politics

Towards a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Amitava Krishna Dutt , Benjamin Radcliff

Edited by Amitava Krishna Dutt and Benjamin Radcliff, University of Notre Dame, US

2009 384 pp Hardback 978 1 84844 093 7

Hardback $168.00 on-line price $151.20

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Description
‘This volume presents a unique and interesting study of happiness from both economic and political perspectives. . . This interdisciplinary volume represents a distinctive contribution to the relatively large and clearly increasing literature of the subject. It will prove a worthy reading for all those, students or researchers, with a special interest in the analysis of happiness and human well-being.’
– Elena E. Nicolae, Journal of Philosophical Economics

Contents
Contributors: M. Cherry, S.M. Coshow, A.K. Dutt, R.A. Easterlin, A. Felton, R.H. Frank, B.S. Frey, A. Goldsmith, C. Graham, R. Inglehart, S. Lyubomirsky, D.M. McMahon, A.D. Ong, A.C. Pacek, B. Radcliff, T. Rice, C. Ridge, O. Sawangfa, K.M. Sheldon, A. Stutzer, R. Veenhoven

Further information

‘This volume presents a unique and interesting study of happiness from both economic and political perspectives. . . This interdisciplinary volume represents a distinctive contribution to the relatively large and clearly increasing literature of the subject. It will prove a worthy reading for all those, students or researchers, with a special interest in the analysis of happiness and human well-being.’
– Elena E. Nicolae, Journal of Philosophical Economics

‘For those already drawn by the allure of happiness studies, Dutt and Radcliff here provide a rich tour of the frontier in the field. And for curmudgeons, this work goes far to defuse the skeptical reflex. It is subtle, intelligent, wide-ranging, informative and even readable throughout.’
– James K. Galbraith, The University of Texas at Austin, US

This timely and important book presents a unique study of happiness from both economic and political perspectives. It offers an overview of contemporary research on the emergent field of happiness studies and contains contributions by some of the leading figures in the field.

General issues such as the history and conceptualization of happiness are explored, and the underpinning theories and empirics analyzed. The ways in which economic and political factors – both separately and interactively – affect the quality of human life are examined, illustrating the importance of a self-consciously multi-disciplinary approach to the field. In particular, the effects of consumption, income growth, inequality, discrimination, democracy, the nature of government policies, and labor organization on happiness are scrutinized. In conclusion, the contributors prescribe what can and should be done at individual and societal levels to improve human well-being and happiness.

This wide-ranging and interdisciplinary book makes a unique contribution to the literature. As such, it will prove a fascinating read for students and scholars of economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and of course, to those with a special interest in the analysis of happiness and human well-being.

Full table of contents

Contents:

Preface

Introduction: Happiness, Economics and Politics
Amitava Krishna Dutt and Benjamin Radcliff

PART I: HAPPINESS
1. The History of Happiness and Contemporary Happiness Studies
Darrin M. McMahon

2. On the Measurement and Mismeasurement of Happiness: Contemporary Theories and Methodological Directions
Anthony D. Ong

3. How Do We Assess How Happy We Are? Tenets, Implications and Tenability of Three Theories
Ruut Veenhoven

4. Happiness and Domain Satisfaction: New Directions for the Economics of Happiness
Richard A. Easterlin and Onnicha Sawangfa

PART II: HAPPINESS AND ECONOMICS
5. Happiness when Temptation Overwhelms Willpower
Alois Stutzer

6. Happiness and the Relative Consumption Hypothesis
Amitava Krishna Dutt

7. The Easterlin Paradox Revisited
Robert H. Frank

8. Does Inequality Matter to Individual Welfare? An Initial Exploration Based on Happiness Surveys from Latin America
Carol Graham and Andrew Felton

9. Perceptions of Discrimination, Effort to Obtain Psychological Balance and Relative Wages: Can we Infer a Happiness Gradient?
Arthur Goldsmith

PART III: HAPPINESS AND POLITICS
10. Politics and Happiness: An Empirical Ledger
Alexander C. Pacek

11. Democracy and Happiness: What Causes What?
Ronald Inglehart

12. The Causal Link between Happiness and Democratic Welfare Regimes
Charlotte Ridge, Tom Rice and Matthew Cherry

13. Labor Organization and the Quality of Life in the American States
Suzanne M. Coshow and Benjamin Radcliff

PART IV: WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
14. Should National Happiness be Maximized?
Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer

15. Change your Actions, Not Your Circumstances: An Experimental Test of the Sustainable Happiness Model
Kennon M. Sheldon and Sonja Lyubomirsky

16. What is to be Done? Toward a ‘Happier’ World
Amitava Krishna Dutt and Benjamin Radcliff

Index



 
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