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Happiness questions and government responses: a pilot study of what the general public makes of it all

Dolan, Paul (2011) Happiness questions and government responses: a pilot study of what the general public makes of it all. Revue d'economie Politique, 121 (1). pp. 3-15. ISSN 0373-2630

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Abstract

The results from interviews conducted with 51 respondents represent a small contribution to an empirical research agenda designed to find out what goes into wellbeing reports and the appropriateness for policy analysis of what comes out. It appears that life satisfaction ratings are retrospective assessments of how life has gone thus far, or at least how the last few years have gone. Most respondents would be reluctant to take a pill to improve their life satisfaction. Respondents were also generally in favour of providing good public services and perhaps promoting the conditions for happiness rather than focussing on happiness itself. Some people did not think the government should be responsible for promoting happiness directly and others were against happiness as a goal of policy because people were seen as being too different for policies to actually make any difference. Convincing people like these of the merits of policies designed to improve SWB requires the development of good measures and design of good policies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.cairn.info/revue-d-economie-politique.h...
Additional Information: © 2011 Dalloz
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2011 09:57
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37530/

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