Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses how the analysis of self-reported measures of subjective well-being can contribute to a better understanding of the extent to which public choices serve individuals’ preferences. Research insights will be drawn from the analysis of the well-being consequences of alternative institutional arrangements, the assessment of specific policies, the study of procedural utility, and the testing of theoretical predictions derived from models of the political process. The chapter also adopts a reverse perspective and discusses how the application of insights from public choice analyses can inform and inspire happiness research on issues related to public policy. In particular, happiness indicators provide new and complementary information about the satisfaction of citizens’ preferences, which will strengthen democratic competition. However, the happiness approach also has clear limitations if it is understood as a decision rule for good policy and the interaction between citizens and the government is reduced to monitoring reported happiness.

Keywords: happiness, institution, life satisfaction, policy evaluation, public choice, public policy, subjective well-being, welfare measurement

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.