UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

What Happiness Research Can Tell Us About Self-Control Problems And Utility Misprediction


Stutzer, Alois; Frey, Bruno S (2006). What Happiness Research Can Tell Us About Self-Control Problems And Utility Misprediction. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 267, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Neoclassical economic theory rules out systematic errors in consumption choice. According to the basic view, individuals know what they choose. They are able to predict how much utility an activity or a good produces for them now and in the future and they can maximize their utility. This implies that behavior reveals consistent preferences. This approach makes it impossible to detect and understand sub-optimal consumption decisions, due to problems of self-control and thenmisprediction of utility. We propose the economics of happiness as a methodologicalnapproach to study these phenomena. Based on proxy measures for experiencednutility, it is, in principle, possible to directly address whether some observed behaviornis sub-optimal and is therefore reducing a person’s well-being. We discuss recent evidence on smoking and eating habits, TV viewing and commuting choice.

Abstract

Neoclassical economic theory rules out systematic errors in consumption choice. According to the basic view, individuals know what they choose. They are able to predict how much utility an activity or a good produces for them now and in the future and they can maximize their utility. This implies that behavior reveals consistent preferences. This approach makes it impossible to detect and understand sub-optimal consumption decisions, due to problems of self-control and thenmisprediction of utility. We propose the economics of happiness as a methodologicalnapproach to study these phenomena. Based on proxy measures for experiencednutility, it is, in principle, possible to directly address whether some observed behaviornis sub-optimal and is therefore reducing a person’s well-being. We discuss recent evidence on smoking and eating habits, TV viewing and commuting choice.

Downloads

500 downloads since deposited on 29 Nov 2011
114 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:January 2006
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:11
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

Download

[img]
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 530kB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations