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

Citations

86 citations in Microsoft Academic

Downloads

460 downloads since deposited on 29 Nov 2011
8 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:10 Aug 2018 05:30
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
OA Status:Green
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

Download

Download PDF  'Testing Theories of Happiness'.
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 523kB