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Policies for Happiness

Stefano Bartolini, Ennio Bilancini, Luigino Bruni, and Pier Luigi Porta


Happiness research is raising new questions that capture the attention of a growing public audience. This book considers three classes of such questions, attempting to provide answers in a format that is broadly accessible. The first class of questions considered pertains to foundational issues and can be summarized as follows: should happiness research be taken seriously for the purposes of policy-making? Is subjective well-being a meaningful policy target at all? Can research on subjective well-being be used to advise governments on reforms aimed at increasing happiness? This book tries to a ... More

Keywords: happiness, subjective well-being, public policy, global experts, policy-making, civil economy, relational goods

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198758730
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758730.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stefano Bartolini, editor
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Siena

Ennio Bilancini, editor
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Luigino Bruni, editor
Professor of Economics, Università LUMSA Rome

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Stefano Bartolini, Ennio Bilancini, Luigino Bruni, and Pier Luigi Porta

Part I Should Happiness Research Be Taken Seriously for Policy-Making Purposes?

1 Policy Consequences of Happiness Research

Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer

2 Is Happiness a Matter for Governments?

Robert Sugden and Joshua Chen-Yuan Teng

Part II Which Policies, since Happiness Research Has to be Taken Seriously? Targeting Social Capital, Values, and Education

8 Social Capital Predicts Happiness Over Time

Stefano Bartolini, Ennio Bilancini, and Francesco Sarracino

Part III From the Past to the Present

11 Civil Economy

Pier Luigi Porta

End Matter