The Relevance of Richard A. Easterlin’s Groundbreaking Work. A Historical Perspective

  • Mariano Rojas


The Easterlin Paradox emerged within a particular historical context; economics moved from an early interest in happiness during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to its complete neglect during the first decades of the twentieth century. Due to this neglect economics faced serious limitations to address well-being issues and to contribute to happiness in societies. The chapter presents the evolution of economics in order to show why Richard A. Easterlin’s pioneer work in happiness and economics is groundbreaking; in fact, it constitutes the foundation of a new area in economics: Happiness economics. The chapter analyzes the emergence of happiness economics as well as its consequences and contributions to economics.


Easterlin Paradox Happiness Welfare economics Economic growth Progress Well-being 



I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Humberto Charles Leija in reviewing and editing all chapters in the book.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariano Rojas
    • 1
  1. 1.FLACSO-México & UPAEPTlalpan, Ciudad de MéxicoMexico

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