In the course of my academic career, my interest has focused on measuring the wellbeing of the Italians during the last century and a half or so. Measuring wellbeing in a historical context is no easy task, either conceptually (how can we define the “wellbeing” of a society?) or empirically (where can we find data for hundreds of years of history?). Nor is it easy to build a narrative of this history, because the available material is fragmentary, with gaps and flaws. It is no accident that the Italian literature has traditionally ignored the subject of wellbeing altogether. This book is an attempt to bridge this gap....
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