Should national happiness be maximized?

Frey, Bruno S. and Stutzer, Alois. (2009) Should national happiness be maximized? In: Happiness, economics and politics : toward a multi-disciplinary approach. Cheltenham, pp. 301-323.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249563

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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.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Politische Ökonomie (Stutzer)
UniBasel Contributors:Stutzer, Alois
Item Type:Book Section
Book Section Subtype:Book Chapter
Publisher:Edward Elgar
ISBN:978-1-84844-093-7 (hbk.) ; 1-84844-093-6 (hbk.)
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:24 Oct 2017 06:04
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:13

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