Comparative Study of Happiness and Inequality in Five Industrialized Countries
In many countries, great interest has been shown in the subject of happiness. Traditionally, economists have been interested in utility, which can be obtained from consumption, and so utility was a key concept in microeconomics for a long time. Happiness is concerned not only with utility from consumption but also with satisfaction derived from all kinds of human activities, including marriage, family life, leisure, and such other things. In this chapter, we do not discuss the similarities and differences among utility, satisfaction, and happiness. An important reference is given by, for example, Frey (2008), who presents “happiness” as general satisfaction derived from usual daily life.
KeywordsInequality Variable Gini Coefficient Poverty Rate Income Mobility High Inequality
We are grateful to participants at the international conferences held at Kyoto and Paris in 2014 for their useful comments. In particular, Bruno Frey, a world leader in happiness research, gave us extremely useful suggestions to improve this chapter. The authors, however, are responsible for any errors in this chapter, and the opinions expressed are their own.
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