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Welfare and well-beingSocial value in public policy$
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Bill Jordan

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420800

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420800.001.0001

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The Easterlin paradox and the dominance of the economic model

The Easterlin paradox and the dominance of the economic model

(p.13) one The Easterlin paradox and the dominance of the economic model
Welfare and well-being

Bill Jordan

Policy Press

This chapter outlines the new debates on the Easterlin paradox and the economic model, and the new approaches to them. It argues that there are shortcomings in all the accounts of the Easterlin paradox, and all the attempts to deploy versions of well-being that adapt or challenge the welfare perspective. This chapter also shows that while there are many problems in utilitarian deployments of happiness statistics, well-being does not easily equate with Sen's ‘standard of living’, Nussbaum's ‘quality of life’ or even the elements of ‘nature’ that were excluded from the Enlightenment versions of the social contract, and from economic analysis. This chapter shows that the value that completes well-being is difficult to capture in moral and political principles as it is within calculative individual maximisation.

Keywords:   Easterlin paradox, economic model, well-being, standard of living, quality of life, Sen, Nussbaum

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