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date: 19 October 2017

Abstract and Keywords

In recent years, the use of happiness data has been influential within economics. Measures of self-reported happiness or life satisfaction provide economists with a means to proxy the concepts of utility or individual welfare. This provides a number of new insights. For instance, the life satisfaction approach enables policy-makers to capture individuals’ preferences and the benefits obtained from non-market goods and services in a novel way. As a consequence, insights from happiness research can provide a useful input into politico-economic decisions. In time, aggregate happiness indicators may become a relevant macro input into political discourse, whilst happiness research can be applied to comparative institutional analyses of, for example, democracy and federalism.

Keywords: Economics, happiness, life satisfaction, survey data, income, public goods, unemployment

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