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ANZEA online lunchtime presentation with Conal Smith
June 9, 2020 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pmFree
Conal Smith led the development of the first international guidelines on the measurement of subjective well-being (2013) and trust (2017) as well as the OECD’s first well-being themed country report. Conal has worked on the policy applications of well-being measures in New Zealand, the OECD, and the developing world.
Well-being, policy and social return on investment: what do we know about measuring human welfare and how can this be used to inform policy?
The ultimate goal of government policy is always grounded in the well-being of citizens. However, in practical terms, most public policy has traditionally been made with much more immediate and pragmatic goals in mind. This reflects both difficulties in measuring well-being, conceptual difficulties in defining well-being, and scepticism as to whether it is even conceptually possible to measure well-being.
This presentation covers recent developments in well-being economics and the study of well-being more broadly. There is now a broadly based agreement that well-being can be meaningfully measured, and that conceptual difficulties previously thought challenging are less formidable than anticipated. In particular – insights from both measures of subjective well-being and from a wide range of international well-being measurement initiatives grounded in objective outcomes suggest that there is a robust set of common core elements of well-being. Beyond this, better data has made many previously intractable elements of well-being possible to measure.
The first part of the presentation focuses on the definition and relevance of well-being, and on the evidence that it can be meaningfully measured. Following this, the second part of the presentation considers how well-being measures can be applied to policy. In particular – what is the role of well-being when evaluating different investment opportunities?
After the presentation the will be a question and answer session where participants will be able to pose their questions on the topic to Conal via the Zoom chat.