Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

The emergence of happiness theory as a rebirth of economics thought: the urgency of paying attention to change in economics

Dadgar Yadollah, beheshty university
Nazari Rouhollah , Ferdowsi University

After socio-scientific changes in the 1970s and 1990s and throughout the 21st century, economics has undergone a series of changes. These changes are in both theory and policy. Happiness theory, the impact of governance on economic variables, and behavioural economics are typical examples of the above-mentioned changes. By using world bank data this article explores the relationship between happiness and good governance for 2013-2020. Interestingly, it shows that the roots of happiness theory are found in the history of economic thought. It also indicates a significant impact of good governance on the happiness indices. According to the findings of this article, firstly it is crucial for economists to take into consideration the new changes in economics seriously. Secondly, the science they follow does have remarkable interdisciplinary capacities. This also confirms the relevant denomination of economics as “political economy” by the father funders of that science. Thus, the task and responsibility of economic societies and economic departments are very heavy in utilizing the new aspects of economics. One policy implication of this article is that improving the components of good governance in any society makes citizens much happier in that society.


Keywords: happiness theory, economic thought, political economy, good governance

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