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Unlike other books that were published on this same topic before it, Hapiness Quantified is jam-packed with statistical theories, econometric models, policy applications, and not to mention a whole lot of numbers. ( Journal of Economic Literature)
The book constitutes an important contribution to the economics of happiness, in particular because of its rigorous econometric techniques. Its approach will be appealing for economists and for all those social scientists interested in quantitative analysis. ( Journal of Happiness Studies)
This book is timely, coming in themiddle of anupsurge of interest in happiness, satisfaction, and other measures of utility-related concepts. ( Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization)
It is written as a technical text, but for the interested reader with training in economics it is accessible, indeed highly readable... highly original... Welfare economics clearly has been substantially enriched by Van Praags and his colleagues' work. ( Journal of Economics)
Happiness Quantified does what it promises: Provides excellent quantitative analysis on happiness research, and thus provides an important contribution to the literature. ( The Journal of Economic Inequality)
Simultaneously an authoritative and readable introduction to happiness economics for the novice and a treasure trove for all scholars in this field...refreshing ( Economica)
How do we measure happiness? Focusing on subjective measures as a proxy for welfare and well-being, this book finds ways to do that. Subjective measures have been used by psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and, more recently, economists to answer a variety of scientifically and politically relevant questions. Van Praag, a pioneer in this field since 1971, and Ferrer-i-Carbonell present in this book a generally applicable methodology for the analysis of subjective satisfaction. Drawing on a range of surveys on people's satisfaction with their jobs, income, housing, marriages, and government policy, among other areas of life, this book shows how satisfaction with life "as a whole" is an aggregate of these domain satisfactions. Using German, British, Dutch, and Russian data, the authors cover a wide range of topics, even some not usually considered part of economic study.
The book makes a distinction between actual satisfaction levels and individual norms, and in this way complements Van Praag's earlier work within the Leyden School with his later work in "happiness research". Among the many topics covered, the authors discuss: individuals' memory and anticipation processes and the estimation of adaptation phenomena (how individuals adapt to changing circumstances); the effect of reference groups on income norms and satisfaction with income; the importance of climate for well-being, including the development of a climate-equivalence index; the trade-offs between chronic diseases and income when well-being is kept constant; the damage of aircraft noise on well-being; the construction of a new talent tax tariff; and inequality from a satisfaction perspective, including the definition of "satisfaction inequalities", a natural extension of income inequality and poverty.
This groundbreaking book presents new and fruitful methodology that consitutes a welcome addition to the social sciences.
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