Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta

Offering a thorough assessment of the recent developments in the economic literature on happiness and quality of life, this Handbook astutely considers both methods of estimation and policy application. The expert contributors critically present in-depth research on a wide range of topics including culture and media, inequality, and the relational and emotional side of human life. Accessible and far-reaching, it will prove an invaluable resource for students and scholars of welfare and economics.

Chapter 15: Economics, well-being and happiness: history and protagonists

Luigino Bruni

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, welfare economics, research methods, research methods in economics


The transformation of wealth into well-being has been a central point in some of the main protagonists of the economic tradition. In particular, from Malthus to Sen, the Cambridge economic tradition paid special attention to non-economic domains important for human happiness, and to the effects of economic choices over general well-being. Marshall was the bridge between the classical reflection on happiness in the eighteenth century and the recent debates on the ‘paradoxes of happiness’, where we find again some of the issues of classical and neo-classical economics, which have been forgotten by the mainstream.

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