Chapter

Rethinking Public Economics: The Implications of Rivalry and Habit

Richard Layard

in Economics and Happiness

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780199286287
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603006 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199286280.003.0006
 						Rethinking Public Economics: The Implications of Rivalry and Habit

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Rivalry and habit have often been conceived in terms of irrationality or externality by mainstream economists. This chapter argues that this perspective is insufficient. The two classes of phenomena are empirically shown to provide a major source of human happiness, a fact that should not be ignored nor underplayed. A more realistic use of the economist’s tools is called for. Examples are discussed on the choice between consumption and leisure, benefits from public expenditure, and redistribution.

Keywords: eudaimonia; pleasure; public policy

Chapter.  8784 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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