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Guest lecture

Maximising Utility: Taking Measures of Wellbeing Seriously in Policy

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Governments and policy‐makers across the world now pay at least lip‐service to maximising the wellbeing of their citizens, rather than maximising GDP per capita. Calls in this direction have been made variously by Stiglitz‐Sen‐Fitoussi (USA‐UKFrance), David Cameron (UK), Bhutan, the OECD and the New Zealand Treasury to name a few. But what does a policy approach of maximising wellbeing look like? And what do we know about wellbeing in New Zealand, both absolutely and relative to other countries? This lecture examines what we know and don't know about wellbeing in New Zealand and examines how recent international results might steer economic policy‐making in future. Drawing on work funded through a Marsden Grant of the Royal Society of New Zealand, it answers some questions and raises new ones in this dynamic sphere of public policy.

About Arthur Grimes

Arthur Grimes is Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, Adjunct Professor of Economics at University of Auckland, and Honorary Professor of Economics at University of Waikato. He has a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics and a BSocSc(Hons) from the University of Waikato. Dr Grimes has held positions including Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Director of the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, and Chief Economist at both the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the National Bank of New Zealand. In 2005, Arthur was awarded the NZIER Economics Award recognising excellence in economics relating to New Zealand. He has published studies on the economics of wellbeing, housing, infrastructure, firm performance, exchange rates and monetary policy in a wide range of international and local academic journals.

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.

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Last updated: 
Friday, 23 October 2015