Can Wellbeing Economics work?: New Zealand's attempt to get off GDP

Sat 26th January, 13.00-14.30, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

This will be a ticketed event on a first come first served basis. Tickets can be found  here .

Speakers: Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (University of Oxford); Hon Grant Robertson MP (New Zealand Minister of Finance); and Dr Katherine Trebeck (Wellbeing Economy Alliance)

Chair: Professor David Soskice (International Inequalities Institute, LSE) 

In May 2019 New Zealand will join a growing list of countries moving beyond GDP in measuring their citizen’s wellbeing and success. ‘Wellbeing economics’ involves prioritising and measuring non-growth wellbeing factors, like social and cultural wellbeing, health and environmental outcomes, and the financial security of communities. But skeptics argue the new measures are just “subjective fluff”.

New Zealand’s Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will provide an update on his coalition government's progress to implement the wellbeing economics approach ahead of its May annual Budget, along with some of the challenges to implementing the approach across a government’s budget cycle. Dr Trebeck and Dr De Neve will offer their thoughts on the wellbeing debate and what progress is being made across the globe to put people and their happiness at the centre of economics.This will be a ticketed event on a first come first served basis.


Jan-Emmanuel De Neve



Grant RobertsonKatherine Trebeck



Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve is Associate Professor of Economics and Strategy at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He is best known for his research on the economics of happiness which has led to new insights into the relationship between happiness and income, productivity, economic growth, and inequality. He is an associate editor of the World Happiness Report, and member of the Global Happiness Council while chairing its Workplace Wellbeing committee. Dr De Neve holds degrees from LSE, Harvard and the University of Melbourne.

Hon Grant Robertson is New Zealand’s Minister of Finance. His coalition government will deliver its first ‘wellbeing budget’ in May 2019, with new priorities and indicators for tracking citizens’ welfare that go beyond traditional measures of income and growth. He has served as member of the New Zealand parliament since 2008 as a Labour MP.

Dr Katherine Trebeck is Policy and Knowledge Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, based in Glasgow. For eight years she worked at Oxfam in senior roles, including those focused on people-centred economics. She is currently Honorary Professor at the University of the West of Scotland and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. She holds degrees in economics and politics, along with a PhD in political science from the Australian National University. Her most recent book The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a Grown Up Economy (co-authored with Jeremy Williams) was published in January 2019.

David Soskice is School Professor of Political Science and Economics and Research Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE.






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