What is human happiness and how can we promote it? 

Paul Anand is an economist involved in helping governmental organizations move beyond GDP. He has held posts at Oxford University where he obtained his doctorate on the foundations of rational choice. He has written extensively on quality of life issues through research funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. He has contributed to a number of journal boards including the Journal of Economic Psychology and been a member of research commissioning panels for the ESRC and NHS. He also has long standing interests in the utilization of research having worked closely for a number of years with the Statistics Directorate of the OECD and the UK Office of National Statistics Task force. He is a professor of Economics Decision Sciences and Philosophy at the Open University and a research associate in Oxford University and the LSE.

He has been a founder of the Oxford Foundation for Knowledge Exchange and is a Fellow of the Human Capability and Development Association.

"Paul Anand's brilliant book on happiness is also a fine contribution to the ethical foundations of economics. It combines exceptional lucidity with analytical rigour, and shows that the so-called dismal science need not be dismal at all." Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University

Happiness Explained shows how a wide range of factors that contribute to better and happier lives and how, together, they provide a new blueprint for the assessment of progress in terms of personal wellbeing.

In his new book Happiness Explained, published March 2016 by Oxford University Press, Paul Anand examines questions such as:


  • Why are the Danes the happiest people on the planet? Who is harmed by having successful neighbours?

  • Provides a novel non-technical overview of human wellbeing including the latest evidence from psychology and economics

  • Integrates behavioural evidence into a non-utilitarian ethical framework

  • Argues for and illustrates a new approach to policy and practice in education, health services, and economics


  • Helps readers understand what wellbeing is and how it can be measured and analysed