Can 'Happiness Data' Help Evaluate Economic Policies?
Motu Working Paper No. 16-02
16 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 25, 2016
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: Suggested Citation