Happiness is, in the end, a much more complicated concept than is income. It is also a more ambitious and laudable policy objective. The fact that it is seriously on the table reflects what a parameter-shifting moment it is in economics and in policy debates more generally. Indeed, at a time when so many of our public and political debates are divided and contentious, exploring new parameters and metrics that provide tools for evaluating the wellbeing of our citizens rather than emphasising the roots of their divide is a welcome change. For those of us studying the topic, this change provides great impetus to get the nascent science right.
Read the whole post at VOX: Happiness economics: Can we have an economy of wellbeing?
This is a good short summary of the state of the field and the principle issues. I suspect that this is going to be a burdgeoning field of research in the future and one in which economists will work cooperatively with other social scientist and social philosophers.