New Directions in the Study of Happiness:

United States and International Perspectives


October 22-24, 2006

University of Notre Dame, McKenna Hall (CCE) Auditorium


Sunday, October 22, 2006


6:45 PM                       Opening


7:10 – 8:20  PM           What is Happiness?   



Darrin McMahon, History, Florida State University

“History of Happiness and Contemporary Happiness Studies”


Anthony Ong, Human Development, Cornell University

“Hedonic versus Eudamonic Conceptions of Happiness”


8:20-9:30 PM               Theories and Empirics of Happiness


Ruut Veenhoven, Sociology, Erasmus University, Rotterdam

            “How do we assess how happy we are? Tenets, implications and tenability of three theories”


David Blanchflower, Economics, Dartmouth College

"Some Findings on the Empirics of Happiness and Mental Well-being"




Monday, October 23, 2006


8:30-9:40 AM               Theories and Empirics of Happiness, cont.


Richard Easterlin, Economics, University of Southern California

“Happiness and Domain satisfaction”


Sonja Lyubomirsky, Psychology, University of California, Riverside

            “The Promise of Abiding Happiness: Experimental Psychological Interventions to Increase Well-Being”


9.50 AM-12.20 PM       Happiness and the Economy


Robert Frank, Economics, Cornell University

            “Are positional externalities different?”


Alois Stutzer,  Economics, University of Basel

“When temptation overwhelms willpower: Obesity and happiness”


Rafael Di Tella, Economics, Harvard University

            "Happiness Adaptation to Income and to Status"


Amitava Krishna Dutt, Economics and Policy Studies, University of Notre Dame

            “Consumption and Happiness: Alternative perspectives”


2:00-3:10 PM               Happiness and Justice


William A Darity, Jr., Economics, North Carolina; Arthur Goldsmith, Economics, Washington and Lee, and Darrick Hamilton, Management and Urban Policy, New School

            "Perceptions of Discrimination and Life Outcomes:  A Social Justice Perspective"  (with Tables)


Carol Graham, Economics and Public Policy, Brookings and University of Maryland

“Does inequality matter to individual welfare?”


3:20-5:50 PM               Happiness and Politics


Ronald Inglehart, Political Science, University of Michigan

“Democracy and Happiness”


Tom Rice, Political Science, University of Iowa

 “Causal connection between liberal regimes and happiness”


Alex Pacek, Political Science, Texas A&M University

            "The welfare state and the quality of life"


Ben Radcliff, Political Science, University of Notre Dame

            “Politics of happiness in American states”




Tuesday, October 24, 2006


8.30-9:40 AM               Happiness and Society


Wendy Rahn, Political Science, University of Minnesota

            “Matters of life and death”


Eric Oliver, Political Science, University of Chicago

           "Mental life and and the metropolis in suburban America: The psychological correlates of metropolital place characteristics"


9.50 AM -12:20 PM      What is to be done?


Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer, Economics, University of Zurich

            “Should we maximize national happiness?”


Alasdair MacIntyre, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame



General discussion