Law and Happiness
Since the earliest days of philosophy, thinkers have debated the meaning of the term happiness and the nature of the good life. But it is only in recent years that the study of happiness—or “hedonics”—has developed into a formal field of inquiry, cutting across a broad range of disciplines and offering insights into a variety of crucial questions of law and public policy.
Law and Happiness brings together the best and most influential thinkers in the field to explore the question of what makes up happiness—and what factors can be demonstrated to increase or decrease it. Martha Nussbaum offers an account of the way that hedonics can productively be applied to psychology, Cass R. Sunstein considers the unexpected relationship between happiness and health problems, Matthew Adler and Eric A. Posner view hedonics through the lens of cost-benefit analysis, David A. Weisbach considers the relationship between happiness and taxation, and Mark A. Cohen examines the role crime—and fear of crime—can play in people’s assessment of their happiness, and much more.
The result is a kaleidoscopic overview of this increasingly prominent field, offering surprising new perspectives and incisive analyses that will have profound implications on public policy.
Eric A. Posner and Cass R. Sunstein
Measuring Well-Being for Public Policy: Preferences or Experiences?
Paul Dolan and Tessa Peasgood
Happiness Inequality in the United States
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers
Who Is the Happy Warrior? Philosophy Poses Questions to Psychology
Martha C. Nussbaum
Two Recommendations on the Pursuit of Happiness
Christopher K. Hsee, Fei Xu, and Ningyu Tang
Hive Psychology, Happiness, and Public Policy
Jonathan Haidt, J. Patrick Seder, and Selin Kesebir
Cass R. Sunstein
Pain and Suffering Awards: They Shouldn’t Be (Just) about Pain and Suffering
Peter A. Ubel and George Loewenstein
Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages
Andrew J. Oswald and Nattavudh Powdthavee
Happiness Research and Cost-Benefit Analysis
Matthew Adler and Eric A. Posner
What Does Happiness Research Tell Us About Taxation?
David A. Weisbach
The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction
Mark A. Cohen