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ANZEA online lunchtime presentation with Conal Smith

June 9, 2020 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm


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.

Register for this free online hui through Eventbrite by 10am Monday 8th June.


June 9, 2020
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
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New Zealand