Call for papers

This international conference will bring together leading scholars to discuss the quest for better lives. Economists traditionally advocated economic growth as the foremost policy goal, but now even economists often challenge this view. The discussion remains open, indeed flourishes, with more contributors than ever. How do we promote well-being? What are the best policies? What is the role for civil society? How can these insights help us to address the environmental, social, and economic challenges of today and the future?

The conference will take place over four days from 1 – 4 of June 2022. We will host three keynote speeches, a roundtable discussing how policy-makers can integrate the findings from well-being studies, an opening talk from a civil society activist, and a workshop on the World Database of Happiness.

Topics of the conference

This is an interdisciplinary conference welcoming contributions from every field of social sciences. We especially welcome papers on the following topics:
  • Correlates and consequences of well-being and ill-being (e.g. personality, wealth, productivity, immigration, occupation, health);
  • Well-being over time;
  • Well-being inequality;
  • Inequality, social capital, and inclusive growth;
  • Well-being and the changing environment;
  • Public or private interventions for well-being and their evaluations;
  • Theory and applications of well-being measures in policy-making;
  • Future directions in well-being research;
  • Well-being and ill-being metrics (e.g. single indicators vs. dashboards; micro vs. macro; big data);
  • The short- and long-run impacts of COVID-19 on well-being and its correlates; and
  • Well-being productivity

Keynote speakers

The three keynote speakers are: Stefano Bartolini, University of Siena; Carol Graham, Brookings Institution and University of Maryland; and Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick.

Policy roundtable

At the “Policy meets research” roundtable representatives of different institutions will discuss advantages, disadvantages and limitations of the well-being approach in policy-making. Confirmed panelists include: Andrew Clark (Paris School of Economics), Carrie Exton (OECD), and three MPs from the Parliament of Luxembourg.

Perspective from civil society

John De Graaf, American author, journalist and filmmaker, is a member of numerous non-profit organizations, and co-founder of both Take Back Your Time and the Happiness Alliance. In his talk, he will share his perspective on how society can move towards a happier, healthier, and more sustainable quality of life.

Workshop – “World Database of Happiness: hands on the most comprehensive happiness archive”

Ruut Veenhoven, the creator of the World Database of Happiness at Erasmus University Rotterdam, will lead participants through the database and how to use it. The database holds more than 40,000 empirical findings on happiness (life satisfaction), which are described in a standard format and terminology, making them easy to sort, for instance by population group, place, method, and correlate. He may also describe some of the current applications of the Database in his research.

Paper submission and deadlines

To apply, please, submit an abstract including the name of the author/s and a title to: Extended abstracts and full manuscripts are welcome. The deadline for application is the 31 January 2022. We will notify the authors of accepted papers by the end of March 2022.

For more information, please, visit our conference website ( or send an e-mail to: