Estimating the welfare effects of a new policy, like a cut in unemployment benefits, is difficult. Economists lack dependable methods to measure all of the costs and benefits of potential policy changes. As a result, politicians often end up relying on their own discretion when making key decisions. "Happiness data" can be used to measure the overall welfare effect of a change in benefits directly, considering whole populations as well as relevant sub-groups. This provides additional, comprehensive data that can be used when evaluating potential policy options.
About Robert MacCulloch
Professor Robert MacCulloch holds the MSA Charitable Trust Chair of Macroeconomics at the University of Auckland Business School. Robert worked at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand before completing a PhD in Economics at Oxford University, where he was awarded a Royal Economic Society Junior Fellowship. He taught at Oxford and then pursued research interests at the London School of Economics and Princeton University before joining Imperial College London Business School as Director of its Doctoral Program. Robert was awarded the top teacher prize at Imperial College in consecutive years.He has published in journals including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics and Statistics and Journal of Economic Perspectives. Three of his publications rank in the top 1% of most highly cited papers ever in economics.
Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.