Article

Inequality and Happiness

Bernard Van Praag and Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell

in The Oxford Handbook of Economic Inequality

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606061
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199606061.013.0015

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Economics

 Inequality and Happiness

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  • Labour and Demographic Economics
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This article deals with happiness and inequality. Section 2 gives an explanation of the neo-classical negative attitude towards happiness as an operational concept, differentiating between ordinal and cardinal happiness. Section 3 introduces the happiness economics literature and the so-called Leyden School, which can be viewed as a forerunner of present-day happiness economics. Section 4 concentrates on the effect of income inequality in a given country on the individual's feelings of happiness. Section 5 considers current attempts to characterize the inequality of the distribution of happiness and how that may be decomposed. Section 6 concludes.

Keywords: happiness; ordinal happiness; cardinal happiness; Leyden School; happiness economics; income inequality

Article.  8434 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Labour and Demographic Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare

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