Do the Arts and Culture Have a Positive Impact on Happiness? Beyond Methodological Issues

Part of the Creative Economy book series (CRE)


This chapter aims to make a small, yet unusual and hopefully contribution to the growing area of happiness studies from the perspective of ‘cultural policy’ research. It will challenge an implicit assumption that culture and the arts make people happy by critically examining some of the inherent problems and dilemmas of cultural policy and its paradoxical nature, as these are in conflict with the happiness that cultural policy is supposed to promote. It will be suggested that, rather than devising various ways of measuring the value of culture on its own and in association with other policy purposes, culture should be seen as an integral part of the whole economic and social system and as indispensable infrastructure for economic development and social sustainability.


Life Satisfaction Leisure Activity Social Inclusion Creative Industry Cultural Policy 



Comments received at the conference on happiness, which provided the basis for this volume, were constructive and helpful for writing the chapter. My special thanks are to Victor Ginsburgh, who read the manuscript and made very supportive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsDoshisha UniversityKyotoJapan

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