"Happiness" and Economics

The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 5:175-180 (2007)
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Abstract

This paper discusses the recent trend in economics to reintroduce consideration of happiness or subjective well-being. The concept of happiness is discussed and a number of uses of "happiness" are distinguished. Several theories regarding the life use of "happiness" are identified. Some of the ways in which happiness is characterized in recent economic literature are discussed and critiqued. Helpful implications of a richer conception of happiness in understanding significant findings in recent studies, as well as the "paradoxes of happiness," are noted.

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