Special Issue "Happiness for Policy"

A special issue of Economies (ISSN 2227-7099).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Job Van Exel

Erasmus School of Economics & Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Behavioural economics; Happiness economics.
Guest Editor
Dr. Martijn Burger

Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization & Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For a long time, policy makers have used GDP as the central measure of societal progress. Over the last few years, there has been increasing manifestation of dissatisfaction among citizens and policy makers about the resulting policies and outcomes for society at large. More recently, a number of countries have embraced wellbeing as guide for policy making, and consequently, happiness has become an important measure in their national statistics. This development, also increasingly apparent at the local policy level and in organizations, also raises new questions; for instance, about the measurement and interpersonal comparability of happiness, the determinants of individual and societal wellbeing, distributional concerns, and the desirability of governments using happiness as outcome for policy making and evaluation. The pursuit of happiness for the greatest number, of course, is not a new topic for economists, and some of these questions have been addressed before. However, research into happiness undoubtedly has regained popularity among economists and this Special Issue aims to bring together the latest perspectives on happiness for policy. We welcome contributions from all disciplines on this topic, and especially welcome multidisciplinary perspectives.

All papers accepted for this Special Issue will be published open access and free of article processing charges.

Prof. Dr. Job van Exel
Dr. Martijn Burger
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Economies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • wellbeing
  • happiness
  • economics
  • policy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
A Qualitative Study of the Views of Health and Social Care Decision-Makers on the Role of Wellbeing in Resource Allocation Decisions in the UK
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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There has been growing international interest in the role that wellbeing measures could play within policy making in health and social care. This project explored the opinions of a sample of UK decision-makers on the relevance of wellbeing and subjective wellbeing (by which [...] Read more.
There has been growing international interest in the role that wellbeing measures could play within policy making in health and social care. This project explored the opinions of a sample of UK decision-makers on the relevance of wellbeing and subjective wellbeing (by which we mean good and bad feelings or overall evaluations of life, such as life satisfaction) for resource allocation decisions within health and social care. Through these discussions we draw out the perceived advantages and the potential concerns that decision-makers have about broadening out to wellbeing and subjective wellbeing rather than just measuring health. Three focus groups were conducted: with members of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Citizen’s Council, with a Health and Wellbeing Board at a Local Authority and with Public Health England. In addition, eleven semi-structured interviews were held with staff from NHS England and members of a range of NICE committees. We identified a range of opinions about the role of wellbeing and a broadly held view that there was a need for improved consideration of broader quality of life outcomes. We also identified considerable caution in relation to the use of subjective wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Happiness for Policy)
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