Author: Arthur Grimes
The use of wellbeing information to guide policy is now well entrenched in many parts of the developed world. Psychologists have long researched the field of subjective wellbeing and provided seminal analyses of how people generate and experience wellbeing (Festinger, 1954; Cantril, 1965; Brickman and Campbell, 1971). However, their work did not initially have a major impact in economic and social policy circles. Easterlin (1974), building on classic analyses by Veblen (1899) and Duesenberry (1949), provided an early economic perspective on how absolute and relative incomes affect subjective wellbeing, but his 'Easterlin Paradox' work (discussed further below) was also not influential, at least initially, on policy-makers.
Grimes, Arthur. Recent quantitative approaches to measuring wellbeing in New Zealand [online]. New Zealand Sociology, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2015: 112-120.