Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Testing Theories of Happiness


Frey, Bruno S; Stutzer, Alois (2003). Testing Theories of Happiness. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 147, University of Zurich.

Abstract

"Happiness research in economics takes reported subjective well-being as a proxynmeasure for utility and has already provided many interesting insights about human well-beingnand its determinants. We argue that future research on happiness in economics has a lot ofnpotential, but that it needs to be guided more by theory. We propose two ways to test theories ofnhappiness, and illustrate them with two applications. First, reported subjective well-being canncontribute towards a new understanding of utility in economics. Here, we study the introductionnof income aspirations in individuals’ utility functions in order to improve our understanding ofnhow income affects individual well-being. Second, happiness data offers a new possibility ofndiscriminating between different models of behavior. This is studied for theories of marriage,nwhich crucially depend on auxiliary assumptions as to what contributes to well-being innmarriage. Both applications are empirically tested with panel data for Germany."

Abstract

"Happiness research in economics takes reported subjective well-being as a proxynmeasure for utility and has already provided many interesting insights about human well-beingnand its determinants. We argue that future research on happiness in economics has a lot ofnpotential, but that it needs to be guided more by theory. We propose two ways to test theories ofnhappiness, and illustrate them with two applications. First, reported subjective well-being canncontribute towards a new understanding of utility in economics. Here, we study the introductionnof income aspirations in individuals’ utility functions in order to improve our understanding ofnhow income affects individual well-being. Second, happiness data offers a new possibility ofndiscriminating between different models of behavior. This is studied for theories of marriage,nwhich crucially depend on auxiliary assumptions as to what contributes to well-being innmarriage. Both applications are empirically tested with panel data for Germany."

Statistics

Downloads

452 downloads since deposited on 29 Nov 2011
11 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:April 2003
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:25
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 12:53
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 523kB