What are the methodologies for assessing and improving governmental policy in light of well-being? The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of this topic. The contributors draw from welfare economics, moral philosophy, and psychology and are leading scholars in these fields.
The Handbook includes thirty chapters divided into four Parts. Part I covers the full range of methodologies for evaluating governmental policy and assessing societal condition-including both the leading approaches in current use by policymakers and academics (such as GDP, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, inequality and poverty metrics, and the concept of the "social welfare function"), and emerging techniques. Part II focuses on the nature of well-being. What, most fundamentally, determines whether an individual life is better or worse for the person living it? Her happiness? Her preference-satisfaction? Her attainment of various "objective goods"? Part III addresses the measurement of well-being and the thorny topic of interpersonal comparisons. How can we construct a meaningful scale of individual welfare, which allows for comparisons of well-being levels and differences, both within one individual's life, and across lives? Finally, Part IV reviews the major challenges to designing governmental policy around individual well-being.
About the Author
Matthew Adler is Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy, and Public Policy at Duke University. He works at the intersection of law, welfare economics, social choice theory, and normative ethics. Adler previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of Virginia.
Marc Fleurbaey is Robert E. Kuenne Professor of Economics and Humanistic Studies and Professor of Public Affairs at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He has widely published in the field of welfare economics, social choice theory, and public economics.
Table of Contents
Matthew D. Adler and Marc Fleurbaey
PART I: METHODS OF POLICY ASSESSMENT
2. GDP and Welfare
3. Cost-Benefit Analysis
4. Inequality and Poverty Measures
Frank A. Cowell
5. Social Welfare Functions
John A. Weymark
6. QALY-Based Cost Effectiveness Analysis
Jose Maria Abellan, Carmen Herrero, and Jose-Luis Pinto-Prades
7. Fair Allocation
8. Social Ordering Functions
9. Multidimensional Indicators of Inequality and Poverty
Satya R. Chakravarty and Maria Ana Lugo
10. Happiness-Based Policy Analysis
Daniel Fujiwara and Paul Dolan
PART II: CONCEPTIONS OF WELL-BEING
11. Preference-Based Views of Well-Being
12. Mental-State Approaches to Well-Being
Daniel M. Haybron
13. Objective Goods
14. Subjective Well-Being in Psychology
Richard E. Lucas
15. Subjective Well-Being in Economics
PART III: MEASURING WELL-BEING: A DEBATE
16. Equivalent Income
17. Extended Preferences
Matthew D. Adler
18. SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being
Andrew E. Clark
19. Does the Choice of Well-Being Measure Matter Empirically? An Illustration with German Data
Koen Decancq and Dirk Neumann.
20. Does Fairness Require a Multidimensional Approach?
21. The Capability Approach
22. Measuring Poverty: A Proposal
Thomas Pogge and Scott Wisor
23. Multidimensional Poverty Indices: A Critical Assessment
Jean-Yves Duclos and Luca Tiberti
PART IV: CHALLENGES FOR POLICY ASSESSMENT
24. Social Evaluation under Risk and Uncertainty
Philippe Mongin and Marcus Pivato.
25. Individual Responsibility and Equality of Opportunity
Francisco H.G. Ferriera and Vito Peragine.
26. Welfare Comparisons with Heterogeneous Prices, Consumption, and Preferences
D.S. Prasada Rao
27: Welfare and the Household
28. Preference Inconsistency: A Psychological Perspective
29. Lifetime Well-Being, Mortality Risk, and Public Policy
30. The Well-Being of Future Generations