Cover: The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness: An Economy of Well-Being, Paperback Edition

- A Brookings FOCUS Book -

In The Pursuit of Happiness, renowned economist Carol Graham explores what we know about the determinants of happiness and clearly presents both the promise and the potential pitfalls of injecting the “economics of happiness” into public policymaking. While the book spotlights the innovative contributions of happiness research to the dismal science, it also raises a cautionary note about the issues that still need to be addressed before policymakers can make best use of them.

This paperback edition features a new preface. To purchase the original, hardcover edition, click here.

Praise of The Pursuit of Happiness:

"With great care and judgment, Graham clearly explains the complexities of defining, measuring, and targeting happiness in economic policy while still urging us to persevere. . . . A consummate work of scholarship."
—Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

"The book is well written and very accessible, and is immaculately researched, avoiding bias and imbalance. . . . Far from being a 'dismal science,' Graham provides much reason for optimism for those people involved in this burgeoning field of economics."
—World Economics

"As acceptance of social science research on happiness continues to grow, a new question has naturally surged to the fore: Should happiness be a goal of public policy? In this eloquently written celebration of a new science, Carol Graham provides valuable new insight into the pros and cons of this issue."
—Richard A. Easterlin, university professor and professor of economics, University of Southern California

"Since 1776 the 'pursuit of happiness' has been the great world question. Here, reflecting on modern survey techniques and results, Carol Graham drills deeper. . . . [She] is opening up a whole new frontier in economic and social policy."
—George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics