Pub. Date:
Edward Elgar Publishing
Handbook on the Economics of Happiness

Handbook on the Economics of Happiness

by Luigino Bruni, Pier Luigi PortaLuigino Bruni


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This book is a welcome consolidation and extension of the recent expanding debates on happiness and economics. Happiness and economics, as a new field for research, is now of pivotal interest particularly to welfare economists and psychologists.

This Handbook provides an unprecedented forum for discussion of the economic issues relating to happiness. It reviews the more recent literature and offers the interested reader an insight into the vast scope of the field in terms of the theory, its applications and also experimental design. The Handbook also gives substantial indications as to the future direction of research in the field, with particular regard to policy applications and developing an economics of interpersonal relations which includes reciprocity and social interaction theory.

Reflecting the contribution of a major research activity on the study of happiness, economics and interpersonal relations, this book will be of great interest to economists and psychologists in general, as well as welfare economists and postgraduate scholars of cooperation, welfare, social planning, non-profit, corporate social responsibility and related fields.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843768265
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Publication date: 04/07/2007
Series: Elgar Original Reference Series
Pages: 640
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Edited by Luigino Bruni, Professor of Political Economy, Department of Law, Economics, Politics and Modern languages, LUMSA University and the late Pier Luigi Porta, formerly Professor of Economics, University Milano-Bicocca, Italy

Table of Contents



Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta


1. Happiness, Wealth and Utility in Ancient Thought

Gloria Vivenza

2. The ‘Technology of Happiness’ and the Tradition of Economic Science

Luigino Bruni

3. Human Needs Hierarchy and Happiness: Evidence from the Late Pre-Classical and Classical Economics

Stravos Drakopoulos and Anastasios Karayiannis

4. Jeremy Bentham’s Quantitative Analysis of Happiness and its Asymmetries

Marco E.L. Guidi

5. Public Happiness and Civil Society

Pier Luigi Porta and Roberto Scazzieri

6. Kant on Civilization, Moralization and the Paradox of Happiness

Sergio Cremaschi


7. If Happiness is so Important, Why Do We Know So Little About It?

Marina Bianchi

8. Well-being and Consumption: Towards a Theoretical Approach Based on Human Need Satisfaction

Monica Guillen Royo

9. Enjoyment of Life, the Structure of Time and Economic Dynamics

Mario Cogoy

10. Experienced Versus Decision Utility of Income: Relative or Absolute Happiness

Maarten Vendrik and Johannes Hirata

11. Past Product Experiences as Determinants of Happiness with Target Product Experiences: Implications for Subjective Well-being

Rajagopal Raghunathan and Julie R. Irwin

12. The Life Plan View of Happiness and the Paradoxes of Happiness

Mark Chekola


13. The Income–Unhappiness Paradox: A Relational Goods/Baumol Disease Explanation

Leonardo Becchetti and Marika Santoro

14. The Subjective Well-being Paradox: A Suggested Solution Based on Relational Goods

Maurizio Pugno

15. The Not-So-Fragile Fragility of Goodness: The Responsive Quality of Fiduciary Relationships

Vittorio Pelligra

16. Happiness, Morality and Game Theory

Luca Zarri

17. Why are People so Unhappy? Why do They Strive so Hard for Money? Competing Explanations of the Broken Promises of Economic Growth

Stefano Bartolini

18. On the Demand for Grandchildren: Tied Transfers and the Demonstration Effect

Donald Cox and Oded Stark


19. Values and Happiness in Mexico: The Case of the Metropolitan City of Monterrey

Jose de Jesus Garcia, Nicole Christa Fuentes, Salvador A. Borrego, Monica D. Gutierrez and Alejandro Tapia

20. Happiness, Satisfaction and Socioeconomic Conditions: Some International Evidence

Amado Peiró

21. Happiness and the Standard of Living: The Case of South Africa

Nattavudh Powdthavee

22. Federalism Versus Social Citizenship: Investigating the Preference for Equity in Health Care

Luca Crivelli, Gianfranco Domenighetti and Massimo Filippini

23. Happiness and Sustainability: A Modern Paradox

Silva Marzetti Dall’Aste Brandolini

24. Ideals, Conformism and Reciprocity: A Model of Individual Choice with Conformist Motivations, and an Application to the Not-for-Profit Case

Lorenzo Sacconi and Gianluca Grimalda


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