2013 № 1

Can “happiness” be an economic term?


The scientific search being carried out shows that it is already not enough to use the index of GDP on capita as a measure of people’s welfare. A new index is necessary, which would go out of material boundary of welfare and include moral and its cognitive sides. One of variants is a substitution of GDP for total internal happiness (TIH). But what is happiness and what can be its measure? And the most important in this situation is a necessity of clear understanding of categorical apparatus. Could happiness be measured? Could uniform understanding of happiness for the concrete citizen and for all citizens of any state be formulated? These are necessary conditions in order to use instead of GDP and other concrete economic indexes a new term “happiness”. The existing terms including those of Professor V. S. Bochko are vague and can’t be used for diagnostics of happiness. I think that the term “happiness” is for the time being located out of the sphere of concrete economic science, where such terms are being used as GDP, income, costs etc. But these are such questions that require not an answer, but thoughts.

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Vladimir A. Antropov  – Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Professor of the Department of Management in Social and Economic Systems, Ural State University of Railway Transport (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation; e-mail: antrvl@list.ru).