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Economics and HappinessFraming the Analysis$
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Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199286287

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199286280.001.0001

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Rethinking Public Economics: The Implications of Rivalry and Habit

Rethinking Public Economics: The Implications of Rivalry and Habit

(p.147) 5 Rethinking Public Economics: The Implications of Rivalry and Habit
Economics and Happiness

Richard Layard

Oxford University Press

Rivalry and habit have often been conceived in terms of irrationality or externality by mainstream economists. This chapter argues that this perspective is insufficient. The two classes of phenomena are empirically shown to provide a major source of human happiness, a fact that should not be ignored nor underplayed. A more realistic use of the economist’s tools is called for. Examples are discussed on the choice between consumption and leisure, benefits from public expenditure, and redistribution.

Keywords:   eudaimonia, pleasure, public policy

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