, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 293-298

Inspiring Economics

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This book puts together a group of interesting papers on happiness, most of them written by economists, and all of them dealing with issues of relevance for economists. A large group of these papers were presented at a conference on ‘The Paradoxes of Happiness in Economics’ organized by University of Bicocca in 2003. The conference dealt with some paradoxes raised to economic theory by findings in happiness research; such as what is the proper relationship between income and happiness? What is the right specification of a utility function? Is it possible for happiness being present even at low income levels? and What are the implications from happiness research for currently accepted public-policy recommendations?

Findings from happiness research have forced economists to get out of their theoretical shell to explore and incorporate new topics into their research. Some of these topics are well-known by other disciplines; hence, economists are getting inspired from knowledge generated in