The Happy Economist: Happiness for the Hard-headed

Gittins, Ross

A provocative look at an area few economists dare to tread-the importance of happiness Most economists are obsessed with financial and economic measures, but here the author mounts a provocative and persuasive case for happiness being the most important measure of all. Distilling the practical wisdom from many recent scientific studies of happiness by psychologists and economists, he argues that happiness is not about maintaining a forced smile or a self-centered concern to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, but about living a satisfying life of endeavor, achievement, and mutually rewarding relationships. He also explains that most people are happy most of the time, yet could do more to increase their own satisfaction, and that a different approach by governments-with less emphasis on economic growth and efficiency, and more on preserving the planet and the social fabric-could add to "national happiness."

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