Wellbeing economics and analysis
Traditionally, economics is a social science primarily concerned with production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.
More pluralist approaches to economics draw on diverse voices, perspectives and approaches to understand how to organise society to achieve broader goals, such as ensuring sustainable, resilient and inclusive economies.
Wellbeing economics is about using science and evidence to organise society in a way that optimises wellbeing outcomes.
Our work in this area aims to support you to:
- use and understand the wellbeing data and measures that now exist
- develop the methodology for using wellbeing data and evidence in decision-making, including the field of wellbeing economics.
- increase the use of comparable measures across sectors and disciplines.
Where to find Wellbeing data?
- UK Wellbeing Framework
- Sources of wellbeing data – which surveys the ONS4 are in
- Local Area Wellbeing Indicators
- Thriving Places Index
How to create and use your own wellbeing data
- Using ONS4 in your survey
- Measure your wellbeing impact
- Workplace wellbeing snapshot survey and question bank
What analysis has been done?
Analysis of ONS4
Culture and sport
Analysis in these topics are often most usefully use experiential measures of wellbeing. Time Use surveys are also useful for this area. Using this approach is helpful for improving time use for better wellbeing, and understanding how you improve positive mood or purpose
See more in Prof Paul Dolan’s Definitions and measures discussion paper.
Work and learning
- Educational outcomes
- Education to employment
- Adult learning
- Job-related learning
- Job changes
- Gender and employment
- What is a good job?
Life course analysis and cost effectiveness with LSE Centre for Economic Performance
- Measuring wellbeing inequality across Britain
- Drivers of wellbeing inequality
- Social fragmentation and social deprivation
- Thriving Places
- Community wellbeing spillover effect of violent crime
What does the analysis tell us?
- Jump to our data and analysis page to find out more.
- How wellbeing can help us unpack what matters in an election
- All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics
Improving use of wellbeing in research and practice – Methods Series
Our Measuring Wellbeing series includes
- Prof Layard Using Subjective Wellbeing (Discussion paper 1)
- Prof Huppert Using Wider psychological wellbeing measures (Discussion paper 2)
- Prof Dolan, Kundra & Testoni Using Experiential Measures of Subjective Wellbeing (Discussion paper 3)
- Academic Perspective If you really want to know how happy we are ask often
- Measuring wellbeing inequalities: a how-to guide
Related content and discussion
- Understanding happiness: ways to measure wellbeing including text and social media analysis
- Towards a WELLBY, a Wellbeing-adjusted life year
- Prof De Neve Beyond GDP: the economics of human wellbeing
- McManus Why nuance is needed when evaluating wellbeing
- Singh Sector Perspective How can we tell our story if we’re not measuring what we do?
- Singh Sector Perspective We’ve always done it, so why don’t we measure it?
- Goodwin-Brown Sector Perspective Conversation with Funders on wellbeing evidence
Using measures in practice
- Scottish Government Wellbeing Outcomes and Devolved Government
- The Childrens Society Measuring Childrens Wellbeing in Practice
- Bromley by Bow Centre Who decides wellbeing measures
- Triangle Using Outcomes Stars
- Work Foundation Measuring the impact of employee assistance programmes
- Artis Foundation Measuring Impact of the Arts as a creative learning charity
- Wellbeing measurement and people with learning disabilities
- Leonard Cheshire Charity When off the shelf can miss the mark
- Scottish Commission for Learning Disability Measuring Quality of Life for people with learning disabilities
We are currently developing a collection of tools to support those involved with policy creation and influence. You can access the draft wellbeing policy tools here, and we would welcome your feedback.
Economic appraisal and valuation
- HM Treasury Green Book Appraisal Guidance
- Guide to wellbeing economic evaluation
- COMING SOON Guide to Wellbeing Cost Effectiveness for Charities with Pro Bono Economics
- Treasury Green Book update 2018 and Wellbeing Analysis
- Corry The Problem with Wellbeing Valuation
- Prof Frijters Response: Should we be using it to ‘monetise’ non-market activities?
Whether you want to improve health, education or employment, measuring wellbeing can show you the wider impact you have on the people and communities you support. Our online guidance supports you to measure your wellbeing impact.