Journal of Happiness Studies 19 (8):2225-2241 (2018)

Gil Hersch
Virginia Tech
Many believe that the lack of correlation between happiness and income, first discovered by Richard Easterlin in 1974, entails the conclusion that well-being policies should be made based on happiness measures, rather than income measures. I argue that distinguishing between how well-being is characterized and how that characterization is measured introduces ways of denying the conclusion that policies should be made based on happiness measures. It is possible to avoid the conclusion either by denying that well-being hedonism is true or by denying that happiness measures are a better way of operationalizing hedonism than income measures are. By making these possibilities explicit, we find that less hinges on whether income and happiness are correlated than is often thought.
Keywords Easterlin  Well-being policy  Operationalism  Hedonism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,975
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Life Cycle Happiness and Its Sources: Why Psychology and Economics Need Each Other.Richard Easterlin - 2008 - In Luigino Bruni, Flavio Comim & Maurizio Pugno (eds.), Capabilities and Happiness. Oxford University Press.
Romanticism's Gray Matter.Nancy Easterlin - 2002 - Philosophy and Literature 26 (2):443-455.
What is This Thing Called Happiness?Fred Feldman - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Denis’s Way.Nancy Easterlin - 2014 - Philosophy and Literature 38 (1A):A20-A21.
Crit Disk.Nancy Easterlin - 2002 - Philosophy and Literature 26:443-455.
Big Guys, Babies, and Beauty.Nancy Easterlin - 2001 - Philosophy and Literature 25 (1):155-165.
Psychoanalysis and "the Discipline of Love".Nancy Easterlin - 2000 - Philosophy and Literature 24 (2):261-279.
Hans Christian Andersen's Fish Out of Water.Nancy Easterlin - 2001 - Philosophy and Literature 25 (2):251-277.
Unauthorized Freud: Doubters Confront a Legend.Nancy Easterlin - 1999 - Philosophy and Literature 23 (1):217-220.
Happiness and Pleasure.Daniel M. Haybron - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):501-528.
Literature, Science, and the New Humanities (Review).Nancy Easterlin - 2009 - Philosophy and Literature 33 (1):pp. 230-233.


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #848,479 of 2,498,178 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #427,476 of 2,498,178 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes