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Happiness QuantifiedA Satisfaction Calculus Approach$
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Bernard M. S. van Praag and Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226146

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226146.001.0001

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The Impact of Past and Future on Present Satisfaction

The Impact of Past and Future on Present Satisfaction

(p.138) 7 The Impact of Past and Future on Present Satisfaction
Happiness Quantified

Bernard Van Praag

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the theory that the individual's current satisfaction will depend on his or her own past experience and expected future. The study assumes that both the past and the future have an effect, and that the impact distribution is described by a mass-density function on the time axis. Estimates of this function show that its position and shape depend on age and other individual variables. The young and elderly place more weight on the past, while those in mid-life give more weight to the future.

Keywords:   individual satisfaction, past experience, expected future, individual-welfare function, mass-density function

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