chapter  1
Happiness in economics: the roots and perspectives of a research programme
Pages 36

The famous 1930 essay by John Maynard Keynes titled Economic possibilities for our grandchildren offers an exceptional opportunity to clarify the distinction between the roles of work and of leisure in Scitovsky's approach to well-being. It has been said that the essay advanced some long-term predictions, and some speculations about people's future lifestyles. However, Scitovsky agreed with Keynes that the welfare problem would arise, and even that it was already present when he published The Joyless Economy. Some commentators admired Keynes's ability to provide such an accurate estimate of actual economic growth, at least in regard to the USA and the UK. The problem of inequality, therefore, should be kept distinct from the economic problem because Keynes identified a problem that modern technology could already have resolved. Some commentators interpret Keynes's concept of subsistence level in terms of relative needs, that is, peoples desires depend on the economic and social context.