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Economics, psychology, and happiness

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Abstract

This paper aims to discuss the relationships between economics, psychology, and happiness. Economics was originally a moral philosophy which focused on some psychological processes of economic events. However, nineteenth century economists tried to change the nature of economics from that of being a moral philosophy to that of a more specialized scientific area. Some of the twentieth century psychologists have tried to reinstate economics as a moral science with the help of psychological considerations. One of the important results is the HDI (Human Development Index). Though Japanese people's HDI is relatively high, they do not always feel happy. The 2010 HDI includes a decent standard of living (GNI per capita), long life expectancy, and relatively high mean years of schooling. However, long life expectancy causes the longevity risk. The seniority rule in the workplace changes the meaning of high GNP per capita. Young people find it difficult to get permanent jobs. Years of schooling depends on considerable amounts of tuition and college fees. The key to opening this deadlock is therefore to raise the quality of education which in turn will increase a person's possibility of getting a permanent job, raise the GNI per capita of Japan, and make Japanese people happier.

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