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Hedonic Capital and the Foundations of Mental Health


Graham, Liam; Oswald, Andrew J (2008). Hedonic Capital and the Foundations of Mental Health. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 397, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper suggests a way to think about human well-being and psychological health. It distinguishes between mental stocks and flows. Central to thenanalysis is a concept we refer to as hedonic capital. This can be thought of as a level of emotional coping resources, or as the underlying stock to which the economist’s idea of a flow of utility corresponds. The model replicates the patterns found in the recent empirical psychology and economics literature: there is an approximately stable level of mental well-being and an automatic tendency to adapt back towards that level. Conventional economic theory does not fit these facts.

Abstract

This paper suggests a way to think about human well-being and psychological health. It distinguishes between mental stocks and flows. Central to thenanalysis is a concept we refer to as hedonic capital. This can be thought of as a level of emotional coping resources, or as the underlying stock to which the economist’s idea of a flow of utility corresponds. The model replicates the patterns found in the recent empirical psychology and economics literature: there is an approximately stable level of mental well-being and an automatic tendency to adapt back towards that level. Conventional economic theory does not fit these facts.

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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:November 2008
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:12
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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