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Happiness QuantifiedA Satisfaction Calculus Approach$
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Bernard van Praag and Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198286547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0198286546.001.0001

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The Impact Of Past And Future On Present Satisfaction

The Impact Of Past And Future On Present Satisfaction

(p.136) 7 The Impact Of Past And Future On Present Satisfaction
Happiness Quantified

Bernard Van Praag

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the theory that the individual’s current satisfaction will depend on his or her own past experience and expected future. The study assumes that both the past and the future have an effect, and that the impact distribution is described by a mass-density function on the time axis. Estimations of the function showed that it varies its position and shape depending on age and other individual variables. The young and elderly place more weight on the past, while those in mid-life give more weight to the future.

Keywords:   individual satisfaction, past experience, expected future, individual-welfare function, mass-density function

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