The Joyless Economy: The Psychology of Human Satisfaction

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Originally published in 1976, this classic work helped to establish the legitimacy of understanding economic behaviour in psychological terms. Its central theme was that, despite the economic abundance that Americans enjoyed in the mid-twentieth century, they were at heart dissatisfied with much of their lives. Mainstream economics could not account for this kind of reaction and Scitovsky sought to explain it in theories that combined economics with psychology. Scitovsky has revised the last chapter and added a new chapter dealing with some contemporary aspects. In addition, Robert Frank, author of Choosing the Right Pond (OUP, 1985) has written a foreword.