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The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy

The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy

ISBN 9780199325818
Publisher Oxford University Press
Author(s)
Publication Date
Overview
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.
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