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International DevelopmentIdeas, Experience, and Prospects$
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Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone, and Rohinton Medhora

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.001.0001

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growth, inclusion, and human satisfaction

growth, inclusion, and human satisfaction

Chapter:
(p.173) Chapter 10 growth, inclusion, and human satisfaction
Source:
International Development
Author(s):

Albert Berry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.003.0011

How do income growth, socio-economic equality, and inclusion interact to determine levels of satisfaction? This chapter makes three main points. First, economic growth by itself is not a secure route to human happiness. Though growth that occurs within conducive societal structures no doubt brings important benefits, the generality of this outcome cannot be assumed, given the centrality of relative income and status to people's satisfaction levels. Second, though equality and inclusiveness are obvious potential contributors to happiness, inclusiveness can sometimes take socially damaging forms, highlighting the need to draw on the nuances of the psychology literature in integrating the concept meaningfully into social science thinking about the economy and welfare. Third, given that preference formation is endogenous to society, the challenge of increasing human satisfaction inevitably raises the question of how deliberate an effort should be made by “society” to tilt preference systems toward ones which make satisfaction easier to experience.

Keywords:   inequality, inclusion/exclusion, happiness, affirmative action, discrimination, relative status

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