The primary reason policy makers focus on happiness rather than economic growth is political, not scientific. Happiness research has been and continues to be used to bolster the high-tax anti-economic growth agenda of the far left.
I bet you thought I was kidding when I mentioned a big "happiness" study?
They call this study a "subjective well-being" (SWB) measurement. So if it is subjective why not just ask people if they are happy? Why pretend that indirect quantitative measures asserted to be measurements of a subjective state of mind work better?
Why? Because the growth of the state might not be supported.
We shouldn't worry our simple little minds about whether we are happy. Our intellectual superiors will decide when we are happy--and what we really need to be happy.