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A provocative look at an area few economists dare to tread, by Australia's most read economic commentator. Most economists are obsessed with financial and economic measures, but not Ross Gittins. In The Happy Economist he mounts a provocative and persuasive case for a different approach. He argues that happiness is our most important measure of economic success. Distilling the practical wisdom from all the recent scientific study of happiness by psychologists and economists, Ross claims that happiness isn't about maintaining a forced smile or a self-centred concern to maximise pleasure and minimise pain, but about living a satisfying life of endeavour, achievement and mutually rewarding relationships. Most of us are happy most of the time, but there is more we could do to increase our satisfaction. And a different approach by governments - with less emphasis on economic growth and efficiency, and more on preserving the planet and the social fabric - could add to 'national happiness'. The Happy Economist is a bold and insightful look at an area few economists dare to tread. It may even change your life.

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