Synopses & Reviews
This timely and important book presents a unique study of happiness from both economic and political perspectives. It offers an overview of contemporary research on the emergent field of happiness studies and contains contributions by some of the leading figures in the field. General issues such as the history and conceptualization of happiness are explored, and the underpinning theories and empirics analyzed. The ways in which economic and political factors - both separately and interactively - affect the quality of human life are examined, illustrating the importance of a self-consciously multi-disciplinary approach to the field. In particular, the effects of consumption, income growth, inequality, discrimination, democracy, the nature of government policies, and labor organization on happiness are scrutinized. In conclusion, the contributors prescribe what can and should be done at individual and societal levels to improve human well-being and happiness. This wide-ranging and interdisciplinary book makes a unique contribution to the literature. As such, it will prove a fascinating read for students and scholars of economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and of course, to those with a special interest in the analysis of happiness and human well-being.