Can 'Happiness Data' Help Evaluate Economic Policies?

Motu Working Paper No. 16-02

16 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2016

See all articles by Robert MacCulloch

Robert MacCulloch

Imperial College London - Tanaka Business School

Date Written: February 25, 2016

Abstract

Imagine a government confronted with a controversial policy question, like whether it should cut the level of unemployment benefits. Will social welfare rise as a result? Will some groups be winners and other groups be losers? Will the welfare gap between the employed and unemployed increase? “Happiness data” offer a new way to make these kinds of evaluations. These data allow us to track the well-being of the whole population, and also sub-groups like the employed and unemployed people, and correlate the results with relevant policy changes.

Keywords: wellbeing, happiness data, unemployment benefit policy

JEL Classification: P16, E62

Suggested Citation

MacCulloch, Robert, Can 'Happiness Data' Help Evaluate Economic Policies? (February 25, 2016). Motu Working Paper No. 16-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2738135 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2738135

Robert MacCulloch (Contact Author)

Imperial College London - Tanaka Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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