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ECONOMICS & SOCIOLOGY


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ISSN 2071-789X

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The economics of happiness: An approach to Portuguese economy

Vol. 12, No 4, 2019

Sandra Cristina Ribeiro,

 

OBSERVARE- Observatory of Foreign Relations,

Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa

Lisboa

ORCID: 0000-0002-8995-5684

E-mail: sribeiro@autonoma.pt

The economics of happiness: An approach to Portuguese economy

 

António Duarte Santos,

 

CARS – Center for Economic Analysis of Social Regulation,

Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa

Lisboa

ORCID: 0000-0002-2773-1829

E-mail: ajsantos@autonoma.pt


 


 

Abstract. One of the major motivational sources humans have is feeling happy. The issue of Happiness has been studied since Ancient Greece. Recently, though, this has become a research topic in social fields such as Economics. In the past three decades, studies have been made on Happiness in the frameworks of Economics. However, not many of them concerned the Economics of Happiness, since it is a relatively new research field. Thus, our study aims to present a literature review that includes references to the main factors behind the increase of happiness, as well as the relation between economics and happiness. We also offer our own validity analysis methodology in which Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is considered as an indicator of excellence representing the population’s satisfaction level, evidencing the restraints and limitations to national income. We will describe the elements of the Well-Being Index of Portugal for 2004 to 2017 and link them to the country’s position in the World Happiness Index and in the world GDP. Considering that national wealth is one of the elements in the analysis of Happiness, there is a positive relation between the two variables in the referred time span. However, our analysis has led us to discover other variables, more relevant for the analysis of the happiness level and thus the results are debatable.

 

Received: March, 2019

1st Revision: August, 2019

Accepted: November, 2019

 

DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2019/12-4/12

JEL ClassificationD60, I31, E01

Keywords: Economics of Happiness, Gross Domestic Product, World Happiness Index, Portugal Well-being Index