A different rationale for redistribution: pursuit of happiness in the European Union

John Cullis, John Hudson, Philip Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper considers the role of redistribution in the light of recent research findings on self reported happiness. The analysis and empirical work reported here tries to relate this to a representative actor 'homo realitus' and the 'pursuit of happiness' rather than the traditional 'homo economicus'. Econometrically estimating the determinants of happiness in the European Union (EU) using Eurobarometer data and the construction of an 'Index of Happiness' facilitates policy simulations. Such simulations find that in terms of average happiness there is little advantage to redistributing income within a country, but more from redistributing income between countries. The importance for happiness of relative income, average standard of living, marital status and age are confirmed. The theoretical rationale for redistribution is also examined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-341
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Volume12
Issue number2
Early online date3 Mar 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011

Keywords

  • income redistribution
  • EU
  • happiness

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