Chapter

The Easterlin paradox and the dominance of the economic model

Bill Jordan

in Welfare and well-being

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420800
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420800.003.0002
The Easterlin paradox and the dominance of the economic model

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This chapter outlines the new debates on the Easterlin paradox and the economic model, and the new approaches to them. It argues that there are shortcomings in all the accounts of the Easterlin paradox, and all the attempts to deploy versions of well-being that adapt or challenge the welfare perspective. This chapter also shows that while there are many problems in utilitarian deployments of happiness statistics, well-being does not easily equate with Sen's ‘standard of living’, Nussbaum's ‘quality of life’ or even the elements of ‘nature’ that were excluded from the Enlightenment versions of the social contract, and from economic analysis. This chapter shows that the value that completes well-being is difficult to capture in moral and political principles as it is within calculative individual maximisation.

Keywords: Easterlin paradox; economic model; well-being; standard of living; quality of life; Sen; Nussbaum

Chapter.  8875 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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