Subjective well-being over the life course: evidence and policy implications

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations

This the prolix title of an international conference in London on 12/13 December at the LSE.   It's asking:

  1. Why should governments care about people’s wellbeing, and
  2. How would policy change if raising wellbeing was the objective?

The conference blurb says:

Understanding how people experience and feel about their lives provides valuable information for policy-makers.  But for public policy to improve people’s subjective well-being, we need a good understanding of what drives it.  This two-day conference will examine the latest evidence from UK and international research on the determinants of subjective well-being over the life course, and what this might mean for policy-making.

The conference will report the first results from a collaboration between the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance, the CEPREMAP Wellbeing Observatory at the Paris School of Economics, and the OECD, and an international consortium of researchers.  There will be ...

  • Keynote addresses from Lord Gus O’Donnell, Jeffrey Sachs, Mari Kiviniemi, John Helliwell, and Alan Krueger
  • High-level panel discussions on well-being and policy
  • The launch of a new Wellbeing Society

I think I know the answer to the first question as this was a key issue at a seminar I went to at the Treasury some years ago.  This was also graced by the presence of Gus O'Donnell who made a nice joke about a £50 note and wore the most magnificent white shirt I have ever seen.  He probably said interesting things but I was too dazzled by the shirt to notice.

And the answer?

Simples really, the Treasury thinks that more wellbeing would mean a higher GDP.

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations


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