Links 9/14/09


  1. Uncle Billy Cunctator

    Regarding the Stiglitz article. This is the first time in 3-4 years i’ve seen the term “well-being” used in a conversation about economics. Of course it’s probably going on all the time, just not at the level of the media and most popular blogs. I looked into this last year to see who was dealing with what I called “quality of life.” Not sure how it differs. What I found then, was this:

    They don’t seem too active. The last news they posted on the site was from back in May 2008. Let’s hope the French care a little more about it than the English (In Vino Felicitas)

    1. pd130

      The still-active field known as welfare economics has been the arena for discussions on such matters. I don’t know whether the Cambridge institute at your link means to be pursuing anything different —maybe they’re making more explicit an alliance with psychology.

      The last economist to get a Nobel whose primary area is welfare economics was Amartya Sen (1998; aricle has a partial citation list). An earlier article of his that sounds relevant today is Rational Fools: A Critique of the Behavioral Foundations of Economic Theory, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Summer, 1977), pp. 317-344. Abstract:

      Contemporary economic thought presumes that individuals in a society always act according to their self-interest or private economic incentives, while important ethical motivations for action, such as a concern for others and public interest, are largely …

  2. Hugh

    Making quality of life part of economics may be a revolutionary idea but you certainly can see it socially going back to labor movements and socialist clubs in the 19th century, the Founders and Framers before that, and in philosophy for a couple of thousand years. Shouldn’t we be asking how dumb economics has been for not including this for so long?

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