In particular Deaton argued that various measures of wellbeing, such as how people feel about their lives, their health or their mental state, can add something to our analysis of countries and individuals. Researchers and policy-makers must not ignore this, for while material success is important, it is not the whole picture. The discussion explored some of the causes of personal wellbeing, such as strong familial and community relationships, while touching on the need for further work to explore what actions governments may take to improve the lives of their citizens without circumscribing individual freedom.

The Lunch was attended by leading figures from academia, journalism and policy-making, including William Easterly of New York University, international economist Dambisa Moyo, Matthew Bishop of The Economist, and Dale Buscher of the Women’s Refugee Commission.

About the Speaker

Angus Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. He is the author of The Great Escape: health, wealth and the origins of inequality. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Rome, London, Edinburgh, and St. Andrews.