"Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have" - Anon

Research interests:

Applied microeconometrics.  Labour economics.  Health economics.  Development economics.  Happiness and Health.  Economics of education. Behavioural economics.

Peer-reviewed Publications (International):


"Would you pay for transparently useless advice? A test of boundaries of beliefs in the folly of predictions", with Yohanes Eko Riyanto, Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

"Do Different Work Characteristics Have Different Distributional Impacts on Job Satisfaction? A Study of Slope Heterogeneity in Workers’ Well-Being", with Aekapol Chongvilaivan, British Journal of Industrial Relations, forthcoming


"Parental Unemployment and Children's Happiness: A Longitudinal Study of Young People's Well-Being in Unemployed Households", with James Vernoit, Labour Economics, 24, 253-263.

"Is Personality Fixed? Personality Changes as Much as “Variable” Economic Factors and More Strongly Predicts Changes to Life Satisfaction", with Christopher Boyce and Alex Wood, Social Indicators Research, 111(1), 287-305.


"Jobless, Friendless, and Broke: What Happens to Different Areas of Life Before and After Unemployment?", Economica, 79(315), 557-575.

"Thinking About It: A Note on Attention and Well-Being Losses from Unemployment", with Paul Dolan, Applied Economics Letters, 19(4), 325-328.


"Anticipation, Free-Rider Problem, and Adaptation to Trade Union: Re-examining the Curious Case of Dissatisfied Union Members", Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 64(5), 1000-1019.

"Putting Different Price Tags on the Same Health Condition: Re-evaluating the Well-Being Valuation Approach", with Bernard van den Berg, Journal of Health Economics, 30(5), 1032-1043

"Destruction and Distress: Using a Quasi-Experiment to Show the Effects of the September 11 Attacks on Subjective Well-Being in the UK", with Robert Metcalfe and Paul Dolan, Economic Journal, 121(550), F81-F103.


"Does Education Reduce the Risk of Hypertension? Estimating the Biomarker Effect of Compulsory Schooling in England", Journal of Human Capital, 4(2), 173-202.

"How Much Does Money Really Matter? Estimating the Causal Effects of Income on Happiness", Empirical Economics, 39(1), 77-92. (Recipient of the Lawrence R. Klein award for the best paper published in Empirical Economics in 2010/11: link)

"Daughters and Leftwing Votingwith Andrew Oswald, Review of Economics and Statistics, 92(2), 213-227 (Lead article).


"What Happens to People Before and After Disability? Focusing Effects, Lead Effects, and Adaptation in Different Areas of Life", Social Science & Medicine, 69, 1834-1844.

"How Important is Rank to Individual Perception of Economic Standing? A Within-Community Analysis", Journal of Economic Inequality, 7(3), 225-248.

"I Can't Smile Without You: Spousal Correlation in Life Satisfaction", Journal of Economic Psychology, 30(4), 675-689.

"The Socio-economic Gap in University Drop Out", with Anna Vignoles, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 9: Iss. 1 (Topics), Article 19.

Book review: "Bernard Van Praag and Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell's Happiness Quantified: A Satisfaction Calculus Approach. Revised Version. Oxford University Press", Journal of Economic Literature, 47(1), 204-207.

"Think having children will make you happy?", The Psychologist, 22(4), 308-311. (MP3)

"Ill-Health as a Household Norm: Evidence from Other People's Health Problems", Social Science & Medicine, 68, 251-259.


"Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages", with Andrew Oswald, Journal of Legal Studies, 37(S2), June, S217-S252.

"Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges", with Andrew Oswald, Journal of Public Economics, 92, 1061-1077.

"Putting a Price Tag on Friends, Relatives, and Neighbours: Using Surveys of Life-Satisfaction to Value Social Relationships", Journal of Socio-Economics, 37(4), 1459-1480.

"Mental Health of Parents and Life Satisfaction of Children: A Within-Family Analysis of Intergenerational Transmission of Well-Being", with Anna Vignoles, Social Indicators Research, 88(3), 397-422 (Lead article).


"Feeling Richer or Poorer than Others: A Cross-sectional and Panel Analysis of Subjective Economic Status in Indonesia", Asian Economic Journal, 21(2), 169-194

"Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence", with Andrew Oswald, Economic Journal, 117 (June), F441-454

"Are There Geographical Variations in the Psychological Costs of Unemployment in South Africa?", Social Indicators Research, 80(3), 629-652

"Happiness and the Standard of Living: The Case of South Africa" In (eds) Bruni, L. and Porta, P.L. (eds) Handbook on the Economics of Happiness (pp. 447-486). Edward Elgar: UK 


"Unhappiness and Crime: Evidence from South Africa", Economica, 72, 531-547

Peer-reviewed Publication (Thailand)


"Economics of Happiness: A Review of Literature and Applications", Chulalongkorn Journal of Economics, 19(1), 51-73

"Causal Analysis in Happiness Research", to be published in a special happiness issue in Chulalongkorn Journal of Economics 

Working papers:

1) Economics and Psychology of Happiness

"Can Money Change Who We Are? Estimating the Effect of Unearned Income on Incentive-enhancing Personality Traits", with Chris Boyce and Alex Wood, November 2011

"Life Satisfaction and Grandparenthood: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey", September 2011

"The Effects of Daughters on Health Choice and Risk Behaviour", with Andrew Oswald and Steve Wu, December 2009

"Happiness and Well-Being", Beyond Current Horizons, January 2009

"Electing Happiness: Does Happiness Affect Voting and Do Elections Really Affect Happiness?", with Paul Dolan and Robert Metcalfe, October 2008

"Innovation and well-being" with Paul Dolan, Robert Metcalfe, Andy Beale, and David Pritchard, NESTA Working Paper, September 2008

"Is the Structure of Happiness Equations the Same in Rich and Poor Countries?  The Case of South Africa", April 2003

2) Economics of Education

"From Classroom to Wedding Aisle: The Effect of a Nationwide Change in the Compulsory Schooling Law on Age At First Marriage in the UK", with Kampon Adireksombat, June 2010

"Succeeding in Higher Education: A Widening Participation Issue", with Anna Vignoles 2007

"Using Rate of Return Analyses to Understand Sector Skill Needs", with Anna Vignoles 2006

3) Experimental and Behavioural Economics

"Priming Cooperation in Social Dilemma Games", with Michalis Drouvelis and Robert Metcalfe 2010

4) Other writings

"Behavioural Economics and Public Policy: Lessons for Effective and Efficient Developmental Schemes", November 2008


"Economics of Happiness: An Introduction to the Paradox of Development", presented at Chulalongkorn university, Kasetsart university, and the Ministry of Finance, Thailand (PPT - part 1, part 2)

"Things I wish I knew then than I know now: A talk for PhD students and young colleagues" at NTU (PPT)

"Top 5 Behavioural Principals That Could Potentially Save Your Life" (PPT)