Talk 2011-11: Why Should Economists Focus on Happiness Rather than Growth?

Café Economique Session, Thursday November 24th 2011
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: International Community Centre, Mansfield Road, NG1 3FN

Amanda Smith will address the question:
Why should economists focus on happiness rather than growth?

It is highly sobering to look at studies that demonstrate that the huge increase in average income since the 1950s (particularly in rich societies like ours) has NOT been accompanied by an increase in levels of happiness, nor by a narrowing of the gap in inequalities. The aim of this talk is to unpack some of the problems associated with focusing on economic growth as a panacea for all ills and to explore alternative ways of thinking about (and perhaps measuring) how we might provide a happier world, or at the very least a world with far less inequality and misery.


Amanda Smith is a Senior Lecturer in International Studies at Nottingham Trent University and currently researches issues associated with urban resilience, sustainable communities and climate change adaptations. She is a director of a local charity – the Partnership Council – and the third sector advocate on the Green Nottingham Partnership.

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