Edited by Philip Booth
In spite of general reductions in government spending, the prime minister has found room in the government’s budget to spend money on a major survey of what makes the British people happy. This will be used, in the prime minister’s own words, to guide government policy towards improvements in general wellbeing rather than improvements in national income.
But is it really true that government policy has always been orientated towards maximising GDP? Is it true that wellbeing does not increase as income increases? Is it true that more equal societies are happier societies? Can we really improve wellbeing through workplace legislation? Is it right to orientate government policy towards the single aim of increasing aggregate wellbeing across society as a whole? These questions and many more are tackled by some of the leading intellectuals in the field. Overall, this monograph provides a substantial challenge to those who want to put the explicit pursuit of wellbeing at the heart of government policy.