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Happiness Research: State and Prospects

By Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer

Abstract

This paper intends to provide an evaluation of where the economic research on happiness stands and in which interesting directions it might develop. First, the current state of the research on happiness in economics is briefly discussed. We emphasize the potential of happiness research in testing competing theories of individual behavior. Second, the crucial issue of causality is taken up illustrating it for a particular case, namely whether marriage makes people happy or whether happy people get married. Third, happiness research is taken up as a new approach to measuring utility in the context of cost-benefit analysis.causality, cost-benefit analysis, happiness research, life satisfaction approach, marriage, selection, subjective well-being, terrorism

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