Summary of the World Happiness Report 2013

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SUMMARY OF WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT 2013
WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT 2013 was edited by John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs In July 2011 the UN General Assembly passed a historic resolution. It invited member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies. The first WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT was published in 2012. The need is a rising worldwide demand that policy framing must be closer to issues that really matters to people as perceived from their lives. The reports look for differences and trends in the equality or inequality with which happiness is distributed within and among countries and regions.

The essence of traditional virtue ethics is that happiness is achieved by harnessing the will and the passions to live the right kind of life. A desirable level of happiness means feeling mildly to moderately positive usually, with occasional negative emotions in appropriate situations. Promoting a healthy start in life is vital, and there is ample evidence to indicate that early intervention programs have an important protective or preventive effect. Also, individuals who are happier tend to have better social relations. Well-being is also related to having less gossip and more meaningful conversations. The questions to use must be chosen according to end use purpose since they are of critical importance for measuring subjective wellbeing. The contextual impact of preceding questions must be also taken care of. The analysis of subjective well-being data requires a relatively large sample size and should use micro-data analysis. Also the, enumeration should be spread over a large period – say an year, so that any incidence of holidays might not bias the survey results. Most arguments for putting happiness more center-stage in policy making have been normative in nature; happiness is what would appear to matter most to most people. It has been thought to be less vulnerable to interpersonal differences in...
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