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Staff Biography

[Photo: Paul DOLAN] Professor Paul DOLAN
Associate - Wellbeing
Tel:  0207 955 7237
Email: P.H.Dolan@lse.ac.uk
Room/Desk: LSE  OLD 2.38

Personal WebSite WWW

Expertise: field experiments; happiness; public policy; well-being behavioural economics


Paul is Professor of Behavioural Science and Director of the Executive MSc Behavioural Science at the LSE. He is a health economist turned behavioural scientist working at the intersection of economics and psychology, with a bit of philosophy thrown in. His academic career was forged in the North of England at the Universities of York, Newcastle and Sheffield. He was then a Visiting Research Scholar at Princeton University with Daniel Kahneman before coming home to London, first at Imperial College and then at the LSE.

Current Areas of Research:

The three main themes of Paul's work are as follows: 1. Developing measures of happiness and subjective wellbeing that can be used in policy and by individuals looking to be happier. He wrote the questions that are currently being used by the Office for National Statistics in the UK to monitor national wellbeing.

2. Considering ways in which the lessons from the behavioural sciences can be used to understand and change individual behaviour, and to add to the evidence base in this regard. He was an author of the MINDSPACE report for the UK Cabinet Office.

3. Using lab and field experiments to bring together (1) and (2) above.


  • 2002 Philip Leverhulme Prize for contribution to health economics

Selected Publications:

CEP Publications:

  • The Host with the Most? The Effects of the Olympic Games on Happiness
    Paul Dolan, Georgios Kavetsos, Christian Krekel, Dimitris Mavridis, Robert Metcalfe, Claudia Senik, Stefan Szymanski, Nicolas R. Ziebarth, July 2016
    Paper No' CEPDP1441: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Without My medal on My Mind: Counterfactual Thinking and Other Determinants of Athlete Emotions
    Paul Dolan, Chloe Foy, Georgios Kavetsos, Laura Kudrna, June 2016
    Paper No' CEPDP1436: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Would You Choose to be Happy? Tradeoffs between Happiness and the Other Dimensions of Life in a Large Population Survey
    Matthew D. Adler, Paul Dolan, Georgios Kavetsos, August 2015
    Paper No' CEPDP1366: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Because I'm Worth It: A Lab-Field Experiment on the Spillover Effects of Incentives in Health
    Paul Dolan, Matteo M. Galizzi, July 2014
    Paper No' CEPDP1286: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Looking Ahead: Subjective Time Perception and Individual Time Discounting
    W. David Bradford, Paul Dolan, Matteo M. Galizzi, January 2014
    Paper No' CEPDP1255: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Neighbors, Knowledge, and Nuggets: Two Natural Field Experiments on the Role of Incentives on Energy Conservation
    Paul Dolan, Robert Metcalfe, June 2013
    Paper No' CEPDP1222: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Moving Up and Sliding Down: An Empirical Assessment of the Effect of Social Mobility on Subjective Wellbeing
    Paul Dolan, Grace Lordan, February 2013
    Paper No' CEPDP1190: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Happy Talk: Mode of Administration Effects on Subjective Well-Being
    Paul Dolan, Georgios Kavetsos, July 2012
    Paper No' CEPDP1159: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • A Step towards Valuing Utility the Marginal and Cardinal Way
    Paul Dolan, Daniel Fujiwara, Robert Metcalfe, July 2011
    Paper No' CEPDP1062: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures
    Paul Dolan, Richard Layard, Robert Metcalfe, March 2011
    Paper No' CEPSP23: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)

  • Comparing Willingness-to-Pay and Subjective Well-Being in the Context of Non-Market Goods
    Paul Dolan, Robert Metcalfe, October 2008
    Paper No' CEPDP0890: Read Abstract | Full paper (pdf)