In economics there is presently an almost revolutionary development. The direct measurement of subjective welfare challenges traditional economics, inspires it, and opens new avenues for scientific research. The approaches and possibilities of an economic analysis of happiness are shown and illustrated with two specific applications. The relationship between income and life satisfaction is strongly shaped by the aspiration level serving to evaluate life conditions. The aspiration levels are formed by social comparisons and adaptation processes. The Life Satisfaction Approach is a new method to capture the value of public goods. The short discussion of governmental „happiness policy“ from a constitutional viewpoint suggests a comparative institutional analysis of subjective well-being. The happiness revolution in economics is only at its beginning. More insights concerning institutions allowing people to pursue their own conception of a good life are to be expected.
Happiness; Life Satisfaction; Economics; Income; Terrorism
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