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date: 29 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Subjective well-being in economics relies on more expansive notions of utility than do conventional economics approaches and provides metrics to assess the income and nonincome dimensions of well-being. The metrics are well suited to questions where revealed preferences provide limited information, such as the welfare effects of macroeconomic arrangements individuals are powerless to change, and on behaviors that result from lack of choice or addiction and self-control problems. Current scholarship distinguishes between hedonic well-being, which encompasses daily experience and quality of life, and evaluative well-being, which encompasses well-being over the life course, including opportunity and life fulfillment (eudemonia). Some research aims to understand the causal properties of subjective well-being, and finds that higher levels are associated with better health, labor market performance, and willingness to invest in the future. Despite the contribution this approach can make and the efforts of a number of governments to utilize it, methodological challenges remain.

Keywords: behavioral economics, eudemonia, happiness, hedonics, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, utility

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