I could not think of a great topic this week so I thought I'd do a little research on some more weird economic departments.
I came across "Happiness economics." This field analyzes the well-being of a country using both economics and psychology. At first, I thought this sounded a little ridiculous. But as I thought about it more, this seems to make sense. A lot of connections can be made between economics and psych. Both involve people make choices; one field analyzes the outcomes while the other analyzes the reasons for the choice made.
Happiness economics has also become of interest regarding the measurement of a country's well being beyond GDP and GNP. Some nations with lower GDP may also have a lower standard of living, thus their individual happiness is about the same, or even higher than that of countries with very high GDPs.
Though maybe not completely fair, some people use this argument to show possible benefits of sweatshops. Compared to workers compensation in the US, this is slave labor. However, many sweatshops in India are set up to give jobs to women abused in marriage assaults or burnings. Their individual happiness with their jobs is high, though many in the US would look at their jobs and see a very grim picture. I'm not saying this justifies slave labor, it's merely another way to look at it.