Economía de la felicidad. Hallazgos relevantes respecto al ingreso y el bienestar

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Mariano Rojas

Resumen

Este artículo presenta el estado del arte de la economía de la felicidad, con particular interés en la investigación realizada para la relación entre el ingreso y la felicidad. El artículo analiza los fundamentos epistemológicos y metodológicos de le economía de la felicidad. Se presenta los dos enfoques tradicionales en el estudio del bienestar: el de imputación y el de presunción. Luego se propone el bienestar subjetivo como otro enfoque valioso en el estudio del bienestar. El enfoque de bienestar subjetivo se interesa por el bienestar que las personas experimentan, y planea que la mejor manera para conocerlo es mediante la pregunta directa a la persona. El artículo continúa con una presentación de los principales hallazgos de la economía de la felicidad en lo referente al papel del ingreso. Se muestra que además de su función de satisfacción de necesidades el ingreso cumple una función de definición posicional para las personas; por ello, el ingreso relativo importa. También se comenta acerca de la pertinencia de la brecha aspiracional del ingreso y de los procesos de habituación al ingreso, al igual que acerca de la importancia que los valores usados por la persona para juzgar su vida tiene para la relación entre ingreso y felicidad. Se manifiesta también que el ingreso tiene una influencia muy pequeña en la satisfacción que las personas experimentan en muchos de los dominios de vida donde ejercen como seres humanos; esto explica que la relación entre ingreso y bienestar no sea estrecha. El artículo también esboza otras contribuciones de la economía de la felicidad a la disciplina económica.
Palabras clave:
felicidad, bienestar, ingreso, satisfacción de vida, utilidad

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