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A happy choice: wellbeing as the goal of government

Frijters, Paul, Clark, Andrew E., Krekel, Christian and Layard, Richard (2019) A happy choice: wellbeing as the goal of government. CEP Discussion paper (1658). Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), London, UK.

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Abstract

In this article, we lay out the basic case for wellbeing as the goal of government. We briefly review the history of this idea, which goes back to the ancient Greeks and was the acknowledged ideal of the Enlightenment. We then discuss possible measures on which a wellbeing orientation could be based, emphasising the importance of acknowledging the political agency of citizens and thus their own evaluations of their life. We then turn to practicalities and consequences: how would one actually set up wellbeing-oriented decision-making and what difference should we expect from current practice? We end by discussing the current barriers to the adoption of wellbeing as the goal of government, both in terms of what we need to know more about and where the ideological barriers lay.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?...
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D60 - General
D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D70 - General
H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2019 13:12
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 23:07
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102335

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