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Happiness Economics

The branch of economics that study the relationship between individual satisfaction (well-being) and socioeconomic conditions to help governments design better public policies. Happiness economics use econometric analysis to discover what factors increase and decrease human satisfaction.

The United Nations resolution 65/309 on happiness – which was co-sponsored by 68 countries – was adopted by consensus in July 2011. The ‘happiness resolution’ stated that gross domestic product (GDP) alone is not an adequate measure of human prosperity and that “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach is needed to promote sustainability, eradicate poverty, and enhance wellbeing.”

The United Nations General Assembly (resolution 66/281) has proclaimed the day of March 20 as the International Day of Happiness  recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.

Happiness Economists and Researchers

  • Richard Easterlin, an American Economist, the creator of Easterlin paradox (1974) that finds contrary to expectation, happiness at a national level does not increase with wealth once basic needs are fulfilled Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California
  • Yones, M, an EU Consultant, MTCG, creator of SWB survey for peace studies and the prevention of Civil Wars (1998)
  • Med Jones, an American Economist, creator the GNH 2.0 and GNH Index (2005), He is the father of modern happiness indices, and one of the pioneers of happiness economics, president International Institute of Management
  • Bruno Frey, a Swiss economist, a former professor at the University of Zurich, author of Happiness: A Revolution in Economics (2010)
  • Richard Layard,  a British economist, professor of London School of Economics, author of Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (2006)
  • Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, author of "The Hippies Were Right All Along about Happiness" (2006)
  • Benjamin Radcliff, an American political scientist and a professor at the University of Notre Dame, The Political Economy of Human Happiness: How Voters' Choices
  • Determine the Quality of Life (2013)
  • Bernard van Praag, a Dutch economist, and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Amsterdam, co-author of Happiness Quantified: A Satisfaction Calculus Approach, 2008
  • Ruut Veenhoven,  a Dutch sociologist, the founding director of the World Database of Happiness (2011)

Contributor: Majd Iohannes, GNH Institute

Sources: GNH Research Library



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