Law and Happiness

Law and Happiness

Eric A. Posner and Cass R. Sunstein

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226676005

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


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. This book 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. The book offers an account of the way that hedonics can productively be applied to psychology. It also considers the unexpected relationship between happiness and health problems. It further views hedonics through the lens of cost–benefit analysis, another chapter considers the relationship between happiness and taxation, and the book also examines the role crime—and fear of crime—can play in people's assessment of their happiness, and much more.

Table of Contents

Front Matter

Introduction to the Conference on Law and Happiness

Eric A. Posner and Cass R. Sunstein*

Happiness Inequality in the United States

Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers

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

Illusory Losses

Cass R. Sunstein

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

End Matter