About the Commission
It is widely agreed that GDP is an important yet insufficient measure of national success. In an attempt to broaden the scope for public policy analysis, a lot of progress has been made on developing the measurement of individual wellbeing, but a lot remains to be done on how best to apply these data to policymaking. The Legatum Institute Commission on Wellbeing Policy will work to fill this gap and explore how wellbeing analysis can be usefully applied to policy.
Chaired by former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell
, the Legatum Institute Commission will run for approximately one year. The final Commission report will illustrate the strengths and limitations of wellbeing analysis and provide original and authoritative guidance on the implications for public policy.
The Commission is politically independent, and include an international perspective in its work.
|“The Legatum Institute Commission on Wellbeing Policy will look at how wellbeing can have real and practical policy implications on the individual level, the community and regional level, and at the national and global level. Wellbeing research is a fantastic new growth area. Together with the Legatum Institute, we are going to make this the driver of policy and governments.” |
-Lord O'Donnell, Chair of the Legatum Institute Commission on Wellbeing Policy
| ||Gus O'Donnell (Chair) |
Lord O'Donnell was the Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary between 2005 and 2011. Prior to that he served as Permanent Secretary for the Treasury between 2002 and 2005. Additionally he undertook the position as the United Kingdom's Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and has served as Managing Director of Macroeconomic Policy and International Finance at HM Treasury. In January of 2012 he received a peerage and took his seat in the House of Lords. Lord O'Donnell was a Lecturer at the University of Glasgow before joining the civil service. and received his M.Phil from Nuffield College, Oxford and his Bachelor's degree from the University of Warwick.
| Angus Deaton |
Professor Deaton is currently the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics department at Princeton University. He has published numerous papers which examine the relationship between income and wellbeing and how best to measure wellbeing. He is a recipient of the Frisch Medal. He currently holds fellowships at the Econometric Society, the British Academy, and at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prior to Princeton he was Professor of Econometrics at the University of Bristol.
|David Halpern |
Dr Halpern is currently the Head of the Behavioural Insights Team for the Cabinet Office – supporting the efforts of the Big Society and wellbeing agendas. He is a founder of the Institute for Government, which aims to improve government effectiveness. He worked on the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit between 2001 and 2007 as Chief Analyst. He authored many of the Unit’s influential papers on Life Satisfaction. Prior to joining the public sector, he was a Lecturer at Cambridge University for the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. Additionally, he has held academic posts at Oxford University, the Policy Studies Institute, London, and at Harvard University.
|Martine Durand |
Ms Durand is the Chief Statistician and Director of the OECD Statistics Directorate. She oversees the organisations statistical activities and is responsible for measurement of well-being and the progress of societies, which part of the OECD Better Life Initiative and comprises the flagship report How’s Life? Measuring Well-Being. Prior to this position she was Deputy-Director of Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs for the OECD. She has authored numerous papers on international competitiveness, labour markets, social policies, and international migration. She studied mathematics, statistics, and economics from Paris VI University, Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
|Richard Layard |
Lord Layard is the programme Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. He is the author of the influential book titled “Happiness and public policy: a challenge to the profession”, which examined the phenomenon that as people become richer they saw no corresponding increase in their happiness. He is a leading authority on the growing debate on happiness and economics, and how to better measure happiness beyond traditional income gages. His also notably known for his academic works in labour and education economics. He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge.
Below are a series of short videos in which the commissioners discuss the importance of measuring wellbeing, as well as the objectives of the commission. Why is it important to measure wellbeing? What are the objectives of the Legatum Institute Commission? How can wellbeing research influence policy?