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Pursuing Happiness

Christian Schubert ()

Papers on Economics and Evolution from Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography

Abstract: While research on subjective well-being abounds, comparatively little thought has been given to its practical policy implications. Two approaches to derive policy advice have emerged in the literature: One is organized in terms of the idea to maximize a hedonic social welfare function, the other focuses on the design of constitutional rules to facilitate the individuals' self-determined 'pursuit' of happiness. We suggest to substantiate what it means to 'pursue' happiness, in particular by drawing upon a psychologically informed account of preference learning. If extended in this direction, a notion of the pursuit of happiness has interesting practical policy implications.

Keywords: subjective well-being; happiness; welfare economics; preference learning (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D11 D60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2012-01-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-hpe
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