Work and Happiness

An Economic Perspective

Authored by: Arie Sherman , Tal Shavit

The Routledge Companion to Happiness at Work

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367266554
eBook ISBN: 9780429294426
Adobe ISBN:


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Economic ideas and economic interests shaped the world through political regimes, battles between classes, and even battles between nations. We acknowledge the influence that economic thought has on modern human life, but we suggest that economic theory should be more open to new insights, particularly these gathered from the research on happiness and work. The data clearly show that work is much more than a means for a living. Work is a source for happiness, satisfaction, and meaning in life. These attributes derived from both the monetary and non-monetary outputs of work. We address four issues contrasting “work as bad thesis” as embodied in standard labor economics theory: (1) Are monetary incentives the sole explanation for the rise in welfare caseloads? (2) How can managers elicit the best performance from their workforce? (3) How can people prepare themselves for life after retirement from paying work? (4) How can people prepare themselves for a “wealth shock”?

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