Happiness and the Law

February 19, 2007Duke Law News

What makes people happiest: love or money? Does law affect happiness? World-renowned economist Bruno Frey says it does; he says that legal institutions such as marriage and federalism are keys to happiness, and that the public’s expressed happiness should be used to guide policy-making.

On Valentine's Day, February 14, in a lunchtime talk at Duke Law School, Professor Frey will speak on “Happiness and the Law.” This event is sponsored by the Center for International and Comparative Law and will begin at 12:15 p.m. in room 3037. It is free and open to the public. The Law School is located at the corner of Towerview Road and Science Drive on Duke’s West Campus. Parking is available at the Bryan Center. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bruno Frey is chair of Economic Policy and Non-Market Economics at the University of Zurich and director of the Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts. One of the world’s leading welfare economists, he is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, among them Happiness & Economics (2002, with Alois Stutzer), the first study of the interconnectedness between the two concepts; Successful Management by Motivation: Balancing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Incentives (2002, with Margit Osterloh) which critically examined the effect of performance pay on motivation, Not Just for the Money: An Economic theory of Personal Motivation (1997), which emphasized the importance of intrinsic motivation; and Dealing with Terrorism: Stick or Carrot (2004), which examined possible economic approaches to terrorism.

“Happiness and the Law” will be webcast live at http://www.law.duke.edu/webcast/.

For more information contact Frances Presma at (919) 613-7248 or presma@law.duke.edu.

Professor Frey will also lead a discussion based on his research on terrorism on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at Duke’s Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy, part of the University Seminar on Global Governance and Democracy. That event, sponsored by the Duke University Center for International Studies and the Social Science Research Institute, will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanford Institute’s Rhodes Conference Room S223. For more information on the Feb. 13 event, contact Shelley Stonecipher at (919) 668-1663 or shelley.stonecipher@duke.edu.