Book: Sebastiano Bavetta, Pietro Navarra & Dario Maimone, Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness An Economic and Political Perspective (Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2014)

Sebastiano Bavetta, Pietro Navarra & Dario Maimone have recently published a book entitled Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness, An Economic and Political Perspective  (Cambridge University Press, 2014, 253 pages).

Abstract: This book is about the relationship between different concepts of freedom and happiness. The book’s authors distinguish three concepts for which an empirical measure exists: opportunity to choose (negative freedom), capability to choose (positive freedom), and autonomy to choose (autonomy freedom). They also provide a comprehensive account of the relationship between freedom and well-being by comparing channels through which freedoms affect quality of life. The book also explores whether the different conceptions of freedom complement or replace each other in the determination of the level of well-being. In so doing, the authors make freedoms a tool for policy making and are able to say which conception is the most effective for well-being, as circumstances change. The results have implications for a justification of a free society: maximizing freedoms is good for its favorable consequences upon individual well-being, a fundamental value for the judgment of human advantage.

  • Contains a comprehensive account on the relationship between freedom and well-being by discussing and comparing the theoretical and empirical literature
  • Develops empirical analysis that sheds light on the absolute and relative effects on well-being exercized by three different concepts of freedom
  • Expands the set of arguments in support of an overall free society by offering a consequentialist motivation

1. Introduction
2. Individual well-being: theory and measurement
3. Autonomy freedom and individual well-being
4. Capability and individual well-being
5. Economic freedom, political freedom and individual well-being
6. Autonomy and negative freedom
7. Autonomy and capability
8. Autonomy, limited government, capability, and happiness
9. Normative consequences of the pursuit of happiness.

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