• » Homepage
  • » Blog
  • » An Eye on Happiness; happiness as an additional goal for citizens and governments.

March 1, 2013

An Eye on Happiness; happiness as an additional goal for citizens and governments.

An Eye on Happiness; happiness as an additional goal for citizens and governments.  

Dissertation dr. mr. J.C. Ott, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

 

An eye on happiness

The quality of government is a crucial factor for average happiness in nations; a higher quality goes together with more happiness. The quality of governments also determines the relationship between the size of governments and happiness. This relationship is positive if this quality is good, and negative if this quality is bad. A high quality of governments eventually leads to less inequality in happiness. Since happier people are also more altruistic, and more prepared to promote the public interest, it makes sense to recognize happiness as an additional goal.

Poor and rich nations

These conclusions are based on an analysis of important publications and comparative research on the position in 2006 in 130 nations.  In particular in poor nations average happiness can go up by improvements in government. There are no indications, however, that this actually happens. According to the World Bank Institute, assessing the quality of governments, there is no rising trend since 1998. In rich nations, on the other hand, economic growth hardly contributes to happiness. The implication is that governments in rich nations can reconsider their priorities, and put more priority on sustainability to protect the happiness of future generations. They can also put more priority on the happiness of people in poor nations, who are currently substantially less happy.

Full text (pdf)

For questions or comments, mail to:  jan.ott@planet.nl


If you wish to receive regular news updates from our blog without using our RSS-Feed, you can also subscribe to our e-mail bulletin.


Discussion


Leave a comment

Anybody can start or join the conversation by leaving a comment. Please respect the general rules laid out by the ISQOLS Code of Ethics. Your comment will appear immediately after revision by the editorial staff. No HTML code allowed.