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Would you choose to be happy? Tradeoffs between happiness and the other dimensions of life in a large population survey

Matthew D. Adler, Paul Dolan and Georgios Kavetsos ()

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: A large literature documents the determinants of happiness. But is happiness all that people want from life; and if so, what type of happiness matters to them? Or are they willing to sacrifice happiness (however it is defined) for other attributes in their lives? We show direct evidence that individuals trade-off levels of happiness with levels of income, physical health, family, career success and education in a large sample of UK and US individuals. On average, all types of happiness are preferred to other attributes except health. People prefer affective happiness (feeling good) over evaluative (life satisfaction) and eudaimonic (worthwhileness) components. This result is robust to methodological innovations, such as the use of vignettes and judgements of the lives described.

Keywords: preference; subjective well-being; happiness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D6 H00 I00 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-hea
Date: 2017-07
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, July, 2017, 139, pp. 60-73. ISSN: 0167-2681

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/76711/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Would you choose to be happy? Tradeoffs between happiness and the other dimensions of life in a large population survey (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Would You Choose to be Happy? Tradeoffs between Happiness and the Other Dimensions of Life in a Large Population Survey (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Would you choose to be happy? Tradeoffs betweenhappiness and the other dimensions of life in a largepopulation survey (2015) Downloads
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