My research concerns a wide variety of topics that revolve around a question: is it possible to reconcile economic prosperity with the sustainability of the environment, human relationships, leisure and happiness? In fact, economic growth has freed us from mass poverty, allowing access to consumer goods, education, healthcare, etc. But has also produced pervasive negative effects such as increasing ecological crises and an impoverishment of social and interpersonal relationships, resulting in recent decades in mass solitude. Furthermore, most of us are time squeezed: we live in a rush among hasty individuals. Finally, available measures indicate that the impact of economic growth on people's happiness has been disappointing. Discomfort, malaise, unhappiness, mental illness, suicides, addictions have grown in industrial societies. In recent years these issues have become very topical. Intense research has developed around them, involving all the social sciences, and attracting interest from the public. My activity on these issues has developed along three lines: research, dissemination, teaching.
My research on happiness has had international resonance. I have been invited as a keynote speaker to important international conferences, I have organized some of them, I have collaborated with institutions such as the OECD and the World Bank, participated in important international research panels and contributed to structuring and directing research groups on these issues in research institutions abroad. The large amount of research on these issues ended up providing evidence-based policies indicating a positive answer to my central question: how to reconcile economic prosperity with the various dimensions of sustainability.
It is the great importance of these issues that motivates my dissemination activity, based on two books accessible to a wide audience. The first is the Manifesto for Happiness, a long-seller translated into 5 languages (forthcoming in English, published by Palgrave-McMillan) that has drawn attention from Italian and foreign media. The second, Ecology of Happiness, has been published in 2021 in Italian and it is being translated to English and Japanese. As for teaching, the University of Siena created a course of Happiness Economics (master’s degrees, 40 hours) and a 10-hour course on Happiness Economics within the PhD in Economics of the Tuscan universities. I regularly held both
Detailed information on my CV, teaching and my research activity is available at https://docenti-deps.unisi.it/stefanobartolini/