Happiness and Public Policy: A Procedural Perspective

Stutzer, Alois. (2019) Happiness and Public Policy: A Procedural Perspective. Discussion Papers Series, (12622). Bonn.

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This article comments on the role of empirical subjective well-being research in public policy within a constitutional, procedural perspective of government and state. It rejects the idea that, based on the promises of the measurement, we should adopt a new policy perspective that is oriented towards a decision rule maximizing some aggregate measure of subjective well-being. This social engineering perspective, implicit in much reasoning about well-being policy, neglects i) important motivation problems on the part of government actors, such as incentives to manipulate indicators, but also on the part of citizens to truthfully report their well-being, and ii) procedural utility as a source of well-being. Instead, well-being research should be oriented towards gaining insights that improve the diagnoses of societal problems and help to evaluate alternative institutional arrangements to address them, both as inputs into the democratic process.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Politische ├ľkonomie (Stutzer)
UniBasel Contributors:Stutzer, Alois
Item Type:Working Paper
Number of Pages:20
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
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Last Modified:03 Apr 2020 18:04
Deposited On:03 Apr 2020 18:04

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