‘How we are thinking about happiness and the economy’
Economics of the future: the deficit of choice
Since the economic crisis of 2008, the current economic model has increasingly come under question, even though there is no obvious alternative at hand. Economists, therefore, are searching for signs that herald the next era: sustainability, a return to governmental intervention, the pursuit of happiness, etc. This autumn, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura will seek answers to these questions in the debate series Economics of the future: the deficit of choice. During the first debate in the series, Stefano Bartolini and Ruut Veenhoven go into conversation.
Stefano Bartolini is Professor of Economics at the University of Siena and is the author of several articles published in prestigious international academic reviews and of popular science essays. His research starts from the observation that the current economic and social order seems unsustainable from at least three points of view: the degradation of the natural environment, of interpersonal relationships and of human well-being. The crucial questions motivating his activity are: why does this happen? And most importantly: is it possible to reconcile a better quality of our environment, relationships and well-being with economic prosperity?
Ruut Veenhoven is emeritus-professor of 'social conditions for human happiness' at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and extra-ordinary professor at North-West University in South Africa. His current research is on subjective quality of life. His major publications are: Conditions of happiness (1984), Happiness in nations (1993), The four qualities of life (2000) and Greater happiness for a greater number: Is that possible and desirable? (2010). Veenhoven also published on abortion, love, marriage and parenthood. Veenhoven is director of the World Database of Happiness and founding editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies.
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