Skip to content

The Pursuit of Happiness

December 8, 2011

John Lloyd in Financial Times:

Besides life and liberty, Carol Graham reminds us that the pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right proclaimed in the US Declaration of Independence. She marvels that so little has been done to make the study of well-being more of an accepted science, but is confident that it will soon find a place.

If it does, Britain may be the pioneer. Prime minister David Cameron has argued that some sort of measurement based on happiness should complement the GDP-based approach. This week, national statistician Jil Matheson presented a report that proposed including subjective measures of happiness alongside objective indicators of quality of life, environmental sustainability and economic performance.

The Sarkozy Commission, a gathering of some of the world’s distinguished economists brought together by the French president, has already called for a broader accounting of contentment than income.

The Pursuit of Happiness, clearly written, if at times repetitive, is a good introduction to the new science, arguing convincingly that it be given the imprimatur of a method of measurement hard enough to stand with GDP, fleshing out that materially based scale with something more rounded, complex and human. [More]

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s