Advertisement

Happiness and Maximization: An Introduction

  • Hilke Brockmann
  • Jan Delhey
Chapter
Part of the Happiness Studies Book Series book series (HAPS)

Abstract

If you ask a chef, a physician, or a teacher the question: “Is more always better,” they will probably answer: “No”. Of course, it depends on the dish you are cooking, the illness you are curing, and the subject you are teaching. But these professionals know when additional ingredients spoil the dish, additional treatment harms the patient, and additional learning material frustrates the student. If you put the same question to an economist or a consumer, though, it is less clear what the answer will be.

Keywords

Ecological Footprint World Wildlife Fund Individual Happiness Average Happiness Affluent Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are indebted to many people and institutions for support and advice along the way.

Most chapters in this book originated from a workshop on “Happiness and Maximization”, which the editors of this book organized in association with Kurt Bayertz. Uwe Opolka brought the three of us together and provided us with the material and mental resources to kick off the cooperative endeavour. His sudden death made us very saddened. We would like this book to serve as a memorial to an inspiring, very friendly and supportive colleague. The workshop was finally held in January 2011 at the Center for Advanced Studies/Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst, Germany. We are very grateful to the HWK for hosting our workshop and for supporting it in a host of different ways. Generous financial support from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Cologne and the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), a common enterprise of University Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen, is also acknowledged with thanks.

We further would like to thank Antonella Delle Fave, chief-editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies, for being so supportive of our project and for accepting its product in the newly launched Journal of Happiness Studies book series. We also received a lot of encouragement and support from Springer. In particular we want to thank Ester Ottens for guiding us through the different stages of the project. We are obliged to Jacobs University and its Research Center “Cognition, Values and Well-being” (CoWell) for financial support in finishing the book. A special thanks goes to Katja Uglanova for helping us with many technical and organizational matters in completing the manuscript. Finally, we would like to thank all authors for their valuable contributions and their positive attitude towards this book.

Bremen, October 2012

Hilke Brockmann and Jan Delhey

References

  1. Alderson AS, Nielson F (2002) Globalization and the great U-turn: income inequality trends in 16 OECD countries. Am J Sociol 107:1244–1299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allardt E (1993) Having, loving, being: an alternative to the Swedish model of welfare research. In: Nussbaum M, Sen A (eds) The quality of life. Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 88–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayres R (1998) Turning point: an end of the growth paradigm. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Bannas S (1989) Reich—dafür unglücklich? Transfer-Verlag, RegensburgGoogle Scholar
  5. Bentham J (1780[2007]) An introduction into the principles of morals and legislation. Clarendon Press, Oxford (unabridged Dover edition)Google Scholar
  6. Brockmann H (2010) Why are middle-aged people so depressed? Evidence from West-Germany. Soc Indic Res 97:23–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brockmann H, Delhey J (2010) The dynamics of happiness. Soc Indic Res 97:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Catalano R, Goldman-Mellor S, Saxton K, Margerison-Zilko C, Subbaraman M, LeWinn K, Anderson E (2011) The health effects of economic decline. Annual review of public health, 32:431–450Google Scholar
  9. Clark AE (1999) Are wages habit-forming? Evidence from micro data. J Econ Behav Organ 39:179–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cobb C, Goodman GS, Wackernagel M (1999) Why bigger isn’t better: the genuine progress indicator: 1999 update. Redefining Progress, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  11. Coleman JS (1990) Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University PressGoogle Scholar
  12. Collishaw S, Maughan B, Goodman R, Pickles A (2004) Time trends in adolescent mental health. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 45:1330–1362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dayan P, Abbott LF (2005) Theoretical Neuroscience. Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  14. Delhey J (2010) From materialist to post-materialist dappiness? National affluence and determinants of life satisfaction in cross-national perspective. Soc Indic Res 97:65–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Easterlin RA (1974) Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. In P. A. David & M. W. Reder (Eds.), Nations and households in economic growth: Essays in honor of Moses Abramaowitz. New York: Academic Press, pp 89–125Google Scholar
  16. Easterlin, R. A. (1995). Will raising the income of all increase the happiness of all? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 27:35–48Google Scholar
  17. Eurostat E (2012) Euroindicators. News release. Available at https://epps.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/euroindicators/news_releases. Accessed on 12 July 2012
  18. Fischer C (2008) What wealth-happiness paradox? A short note on the American case. J Happiness Stud 9:219–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Frank RH, Cook PJ (1995) The winner-take-all society. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Frey BS (2008) Happiness: a revolution in economics. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  21. Frijters P, Haisken-DeNew JP, Shields MA (2004) Money does matter! Evidence from increasing real income and life satisfaction in East Germany following reunification. Am Econ Rev 94:730–740Google Scholar
  22. Frijters P, Johnston DW, Shields MA (2011) Life satisfaction dynamics with quarterly life event data. Scand J Econ 113:190–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gilbert DT, Ebert JEJ (2002) Decisions and revisions: the affective forecasting of changeable outcomes. J Pers Soc Psychol 82:503–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grant S, van Zandt T (2009) Expected utility theory. In: Anand P, Pattanaik PK, Puppe C (eds) The handbook of rational and social choice. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 21–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hacker JS (2006) The great risk shift: the new economic insecurity and the decline of the American dream. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  26. Hagerty MR, Veenhoven R (2003) Wealth and happiness revisited: growing national income does go with greater happiness. Soc Indic Res 64:1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hung HF, Kucinskas J (2011) Globalization and global inequality: assessing the impact of the rise of China and India, 1980–2005. Am J Sociol 116:1478–1513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Inglehart R (1997) Modernization and postmodernization: cultural, economic, and political change in 43 societies. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  29. Jevons WS (1866 [2009]) The coal question: an inquiry concerning the progress of the nation, and the probably exhaustion of our coal mines. Kessinger Publishing, WhitefishGoogle Scholar
  30. Kahneman D, Diener E, Schwartz N (1999) Well-being: the foundations of hedonic psychology. Russell Sage, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Krebs JR, Davies NB (1993) An introduction to behavioural ecology, 3rd edn. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  32. Kurz K, Blossfeld H-P, Klijzing E, Mills M (2005) Globalization, uncertainty and youth in society. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  33. Layard R (2005) Happiness: lessons from a new science. Penguin, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Lee S, Guo W-J, Tsang A, Mak ADP, Wu J, Ng KL, Kwok K (2010) Evidence for the 2008 economic crisis exacerbating depression in Hong Kong. J Affect Disord 126:125–133Google Scholar
  35. Madden D (2011) The impact of an economic boom on the level and distribution of subjective well-being: Ireland 1994–2011. J Happiness Stud 12:667–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Malthus TR (1789[2008]) An essay of the principle of population. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  37. Meadows DH, Meadows DL, Randers J, Behrens WW (1972) The limits to growth. Universe Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Mills CW (1956) The Power Elite. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  39. Oeppen J, Vaupel JW (2002) Broken limits to life expectancy. Science 296:1029–1031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Offer A (2006) The challenge of affluence: self-control and well-being in the United States and Britain since 1950. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  41. Olfson M, Marcus SC (2009) National patterns in antidepressant medication treatment. Arch Gen Psychiatry 66:848–856CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Parker GA, Smith JM (1990) Optimality theory in evolutionaly biology. Nature 348:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Porritt J (2007) Capitalism as if the world matters. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Rockström J, Steffen W, Noone K, Persson Å, Chapin FS III, Lambin EF et al (2009) A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461:472–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Savage LJ (1954) The foundations of statistics. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Schwartz B (2005) The paradox of choice. Why more is less. HarperCollins, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Stiglitz JE (2012) The price of inequality. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Suls J, Martin R, Wheeler L (2002) Social comparison: Why, with whom, and with what effect? Curr Dir Psychol Sci 11:159–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Twenge JM, Gentile B, DeWall CN, Ma D, Lacefield K, Schurtz DR (2010) Birth cohort increases in psychopathology among young Americans, 1938–2007: a cross-temporal meta-analysis of the MMPI. Clin Psychol Rev 30:145–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Veenhoven R (1984) Conditions of happiness. D. Reidel Publishing Company, DoordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Veenhoven R (2010) How universal is happiness. In: Diener E, Kahnemann D, Helliwell JF (eds) International differences in well-being. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 328–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Veenhoven R, Hagerty MR (2006) Rising happiness in nations 1946–2004: a reply to Easterlin. Soc Indic Res 79:421–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Victor PA (2010) Managing without growth: slower by design, not disaster. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  54. Wachtel PL (1989) The poverty of affluence: a psychological portrait of the American way of life. New Society Publishers, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  55. Wade RH (2004) Is globalization reducing poverty and inequality? World Dev 32:567–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. WHO (2011) Global Infobase. Available at https://apps.who.int/infobase/Index.aspx. Accessed on 12 July 2012
  57. WWF (2012) WWF Living Planet Report. Available at http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/1_lpr_2012_online_full_size_single_pages_final_120516.pdf. Accessed on 12 July 2012
  58. Wilkinson R, Pickett K (2009) The spirit level: why more equal societies always do better. Penguin Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  59. Wisman JD, Capehart KW (2010) Creative destruction, economic insecurity, stress, and epidemic obesity. Am J Econ Sociol 69:936–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zimmermann AC (2007) Adaptation, assets, and aspirations. Three essays on the economics of subjective well-being. Doctoral dissertation. University of Southern California, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social SciencesJacobs University BremenBremenGermany

Personalised recommendations