PBS.org: "Consumption, Well-Being and Awareness"

Economics professor Daniel Barbezat discussed developing and deepening awareness of how much we consume and how we feel in this essay he penned for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Web site.

Consuming Happiness

Daniel Barbezat talks money and happiness.

Interview by Peter Rooney

Consuming Happiness

Professor Daniel Barbezat 

If there ever was a sobering time to teach an economics course titled "Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness," it might be during the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

The course, being taught this semester by Economics Professor Daniel P. Barbezat, aims to open students’ eyes about the link between well-being and consumption, and how government policies and economic conditions can impact that well-being. To help students gain insight, he’s also introducing elements of mindfulness into the course, and leading meditation exercises as well.

Professor Barbezat recently sat down with Director of Public Affairs Peter Rooney to discuss the class, as well as his thoughts about the current downturn and how it might impact our own sense of happiness. (He also spoke with Kimberly Palmer ’01 about the course for a piece she wrote for U.S. News & World Report.)

Listen to the full interview:


Q: It’s a very intriguing title, given the times and the unraveling of the economy.  To what extent are you incorporating the downturn into the course or discussion?