Gov’t wellbeing budgets & frameworks: useful or useless? w/ Nicholas Gruen - EP187
Play • 57 min

Show host Gene Tunny talks with Dr. Nicholas Gruen, CEO of Lateral Economics, about the increasing focus of governments on wellbeing. For instance, former NZ PM Jacinda Ardern rebranded the national budget as a Wellbeing Budget, Wales has a Futures Generations Commissioner, and Australia is developing a new wellbeing framework, Measuring What Matters. Gene and Nicholas discuss the limitations of the current top-down approaches and platitudes, and consider potential solutions for better integrating wellbeing into policymaking. 

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What’s covered in EP187

  • What is the “well-being agenda”? (2:44)
  • The “Easterlin paradox”. (5:08)
  • How do you make these judgments? How do you measure well-being? (10:50)
  • How is this relevant for policy? Should governments be tracking this broader measure? (28:36)
  • Is complexity a plus or a minus in the Treasury wellbeing framework? (33:39)
  • Why do you need a framework? (40:02)
  • Good examples of programs which could improve wellbeing. (44:29)
  • The importance of being connected to family and friends. (53:42)

Links relevant to the conversation

Nicholas Gruen’s YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/@NicholasGruen

Video version of this episode on Nicholas’s Uncomfortable Collisions with Reality podcast:

Wellbeing: can we escape the iron law of business-as-usual

Measuring what matters — second consultation process | Treasury.gov.au

Fairfax Lateral Economics Index of Australia's Wellbeing Final Report (the HALE index discussed in the conversation)

Thanks to Obsidian Productions for mixing the episode and to the show’s sponsor, Gene’s consultancy business www.adepteconomics.com.au

Full transcripts are available a few days after the episode is first published at www.economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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