Well-being: Theory, Analysis and Use in Policy-making

Course Overview

This Wellbeing in Economics, Statistics and Social Research course is designed and delivered by academics, and public sector analysts, economics and statisticians at the 'coal-face' using wellbeing in government policy development.

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Two Days


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Summary Summary

In October 2010 the Prime Minister announced that the he would "take practical steps to make sure government is properly focused on our quality of life as well as economic growth". Since then the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has developed a new framework for measuring national wellbeing including an innovative and high profile programme of work to measure subjective wellbeing – how people in the UK are actually feeling – to complement the objective measures of social/ environmental and economic progress that have traditionally been used. There is a growing body of analysis and policy work that is progressing across Whitehall on wellbeing driven by the Cabinet Secretary and the Social Impacts Task Force. Closely related to behavioural economics, wellbeing provides a fresh approach to looking at policy challenges and options for addressing them. It provides opportunities for using new analytical and appraisal approaches that help to capture and account for social impacts, welfare and 'utility' in our decision making.

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Outline Outline

The aim of this 2 day course is to gain an awareness and appreciation of the growing field of wellbeing economics with a focus on subjective wellbeing, and to develop an understanding of the range of data that is available. The course covers the theory and normative foundations of wellbeing, the political background in the UK, and the different uses of the wellbeing data in policy analysis. The course also provides an overview of green book techniques, particularly the Wellbeing Valuation approach. The second day of the course includes an applied data analysis workshop where participants analyse the ONS wellbeing data using Stata (IT provided). No prior experience of Stata or statistics is required but it would be an advantage.

Learning Outcomes Outcomes

  • Clear understanding of national wellbeing policy and the context around it
  • Awareness of the UK national wellbeing measurement framework.
  • Understanding of different approaches to measuring subjective wellbeing and administration considerations for policy surveys and evaluations.
  • Clear understanding of the different ways of presenting and analysing subjective wellbeing data to support policy development.
  • Introduction to statistical methods for analysing wellbeing data.
  • Ability to apply a range of statistical methods for analysing wellbeing data including descriptive statistics, statistical inference testing, and regression analysis.
  • Knowledge of the wellbeing valuation approach, for monetary valuation of social impacts.
  • Knowledge of wellbeing datasets that are available or will becoming available, and where to go for further advice and support.

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