Nattavudh (Nick) Powdthavee

Professor of Behavioural Science

Warwick Business School

University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK





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Welcome to my personal website. I am a professor of behavioural science at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. I am also the author of The Happiness Equation: The Surprising Economics of Our Most Valuable Asset (Icon Books) and How Happiness Works (Salmon House), and a columnist for ThaiPublica and The Momentum in Thailand.


Latest research papers


  • "Have Econometric Analyses of Happiness Data Been Futile? A Simple Truth About Happiness Scales" with Le-Yu Chen, Ekaterina Oparina, and Sorawoot Srisuma


Abstract: Econometric analyses in the happiness literature typically use subjective well-being (SWB) data to compare the mean of observed or latent happiness across samples. Recent critiques show that comparing the mean of ordinal data is only valid under strong assumptions that are usually rejected by SWB data. This leads to an open question whether much of the empirical studies in the economics of happiness literature have been futile. In order to salvage some of the prior results and avoid future issues, we suggest regression analysis of SWB (and other ordinal data) should focus on the median rather than the mean. Median comparisons using parametric models such as the ordered probit and logit can be readily carried out using familiar statistical softwares like STATA. We also show a previously assumed impractical task of estimating a semiparametric median ordered-response model is also possible by using a novel constrained mixed integer optimization technique. We use GSS data to show the famous Easterlin Paradox from the happiness literature holds for the US independent of any parametric assumption.


Have Econometrics Analyses of Happiness Data Been Futile?
Adobe Acrobat document [500.1 KB]





A Guide to Behaving Better (Salmon Books (in Thai language), 2019)



ทุกพฤติกรรมมีความเสี่ยง โปรดอย่าลำเอียงก่อนตัดสินใจ



ณัฐวุฒิ เผ่าทวี' ชวนทำความเข้าใจที่มาของพฤติกรรม และรู้เท่าทันความคิดที่โอนเอียง เพื่อนำตัวเองออกจากความเสี่ยง และตัดสินใจอย่างเฉียบคม ผ่านการสำรวจว่า ทำไมการเปลี่ยนใจกลับมาชอบคนที่เกลียดตั้งแต่แรกพบถึงเป็นเรื่องยาก ทำไมเราถึงตัดสินความผิดของคนอื่นได้ง่ายๆ แต่กลับมีเหตุผลในการทำผิดให้กับตัวเองเสมอ ทำไมข่าวจริงถึงเอาชนะข่าวปลอมไม่ได้ และทั้งๆ ที่รู้ว่าไม่มีประโยชน์ แต่ทำไมเราถึงอยากรู้เหตุผลที่คนรักบอกเลิก?




The Happiness Manual (Salmon Books (in Thai language), 2018)






ร่วมค้นหาความหมายของ ‘ความสุข’ ผ่าน ‘พฤติกรรม’ ที่เกิดขึ้นในชีวิตประจำวันว่าการกระทำของเรานั้นส่งผลกับสภาพอารมณ์และชีวิตในวันข้างหน้าขนาดไหน ผ่านความเรียงอิงประสบการณ์และงานวิจัย ที่จะทำให้เรากลับมาสำรวจทุกเรื่องราวของตัวเองใหม่ โดย ‘ณัฐวุฒิ เผ่าทวี’ นักเศรษฐศาสตร์ความสุขและศาสตราจารย์ด้านพฤติกรรมศาสตร์

The Origins of Happiness: The Science of Well-Being over the Life-course - with Andrew E.Clark, Sarah Fleche, Richard Layard, and George Ward (Princeton University Press, 2018)


What makes people happy? Why should governments care about people’s well-being? How would policy change if well-being was the main objective? The Origins of Happiness seeks to revolutionize how we think about human priorities and to promote public policy changes that are based on what really matters to people. Drawing on a uniquely comprehensive range of evidence from longitudinal data on over one hundred thousand individuals in Britain, the United States, Australia, and Germany, the authors consider the key factors that affect human well-being.

The authors explore factors such as income, education, employment, family conflict, health, childcare, and crime—and their findings are not what we might expect. Contrary to received wisdom, income inequality accounts for only two percent or less of the variance in happiness across the population; the critical factors affecting a person’s happiness are their relationships and their mental and physical health. More people are in misery due to mental illness than to poverty, unemployment, or physical illness. Examining how childhood influences happiness in adulthood, the authors show that academic performance is a less important predictor than emotional health and behavior, which is shaped tremendously by schools, individual teachers, and parents. For policymakers, the authors propose new forms of cost-effectiveness analysis that places well-being at center stage. Groundbreaking in its scope and results, The Origins of Happiness offers all of us a new vision for how we might become more healthy, happy, and whole.


"If policymakers want to improve lives, it is important to understand how people feel—and why. This book charts new territory, providing the first map of the long-term drivers of people's happiness. Along the way, it highlights both familiar and more groundbreaking routes to progress. There are helpful signposts in here for all those seeking different and better paths to advance people's well-being."--Martine Durand, chief statistician and director of statistics of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
"The Origins of Happiness is a wonderful book. It presents a new look at what causes human well-being, and carefully analyzes the policies and programs that can enhance it."--Ed Diener, coauthor of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
"This book--written by several masters in the field--brings our knowledge of well-being to a new level. It demonstrates how experiences and emotions in the early years link to adult outcomes, and highlights the importance of parental well-being to that of children. The authors provide new metrics for designing and assessing policies that can affect the welfare of millions of people throughout the course of their lives. This work is a must-read for the academic, policymaker, and informed citizen alike."--Carol Graham, author of Happiness for All? Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream
"Rooted in the best-available evidence for each stage in life, The Origins of Happiness provides an ambitious and comprehensive analysis of what leads to a satisfying life, from childhood to old age."--Alan Krueger, Princeton University
"The most significant contribution of The Origins of Happiness lies in its integrated approach to life satisfaction over the life cycle. The authors combine cohort studies, longitudinal panels, and cross-section surveys to provide fuller perspectives. No one else has done this in such a systematic way."--John F. Helliwell, University of British Columbia



The Happiness Equation: The Surprising Economics of Our Most Valuable Asset (Icon Books, 2010)


Why is marriage worth £200,000 a year? Why will having children make you unhappy? Why does happiness from winning the lottery take two years to arrive? Why does time heal the pain of divorce or the death of a loved one - but not unemployment?

Everybody wants to be happy. But how much happiness - precisely - will each life choice bring? Should I get married? Am I really going to feel happy about the career that I picked? How can I decide not only which choice is better for us, but how much it's better for us? The results of new, unique research, The Happiness Equation brings to a general readership for the first time the new science of happiness economics.

It describes how we can measure emotional reactions to different life experiences and present them in ways we can relate to. How, for instance, monetary vales can be put on things that can't be bought or sold in the market - such as marriage, friendship, even death - so that we can objectively put them in order of preference. It also explains why some things matter more to our happiness than others (like why seeing friends is worth more than a Ferrari), while others are worth almost nothing (like sunny weather).

"This intelligent and entertaining book shows how the scientific study of happiness is changing the field of economics - and the world!" --Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University and author of STUMBLING ON HAPPINESS


"An important, readable, incisive, and often marvellously funny book. The author is an international expert in the field and his deep knowledge shines through in the prose." --Andrew J Oswald, University of Warwick

How Happiness Works: And Why We Behave the Way We Do (Salmon Books (in Thai language), 2016)




32 บทความว่าด้วยพฤติกรรมที่เกี่ยวพันกับอารมณ์ของมนุษย์ ในมุมมองของ ‘ณัฐวุฒิ เผ่าทวี’ นักเศรษฐศาสตร์ความสุข อาจารย์ประจำมหาวิทยาลัย นักวิจัยด้านพฤติกรรม และคอลัมนิสต์ประจำสำนักข่าวออนไลน์ ไทยพับลิก้า ที่จะชวนมนุษย์อย่างเราๆ ตั้งคำถามถึงพฤติกรรมของตัวเองว่าถ้ามีโอกาสคุณจะนอกใจแฟนมั้ย? ถ้ารวยขึ้นจะมีความสุขจริงหรือเปล่า? คุณยอมรับความผิดหวังในชีวิตได้มากแค่ไหน? ถ้าก่อนเข้าโรงหนัง เพื่อนดันโทร.มาบอกว่าหนังเรื่องที่คุณถือตั๋วอยู่ในมือมันห่วย คุณจะตัดสินใจอย่างไร ระหว่างโยนตั๋วทิ้งกับเข้าไปดูจนจบ? พฤติกรรมทั้งหมดนี้เกี่ยวข้องกับความสุขยังไง และหลักเศรษฐศาสตร์สัมพันธ์กับชีวิตมากแค่ไหน มาร่วมสำรวจไปพร้อมๆกัน

幸福の計算式 結婚初年度の「幸福」の値段は2500万円! ?

(The Happiness Equation: Japanese translation)


「本当の幸せ」とは何か? 科学的アプローチで探る、驚くべき経済学!