At last the map of happiness is becoming clearer and usable for policy analysis. We now need thousands of well-controlled trials of specific policies from which we can obtain estimates of the effects on life satisfaction in the near and longer term (where our book can contribute valuable coefficients). We can then compare those gains to the net cost of the policies. The optimal mix will surely be very different from the one we have now.
Authors’ note: We are extremely grateful to all survey organisations, their staff and their respondents for access to their data. The Conference on 12-13 December 2016 is jointly organised by the OECD, the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE and the CEPREMAP Wellbeing Observatory of the Paris School of Economics, in conjunction with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.
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