Go Back

Photo of John F. Helliwell

John F. Helliwell Economist

John F. Helliwell studies well-being, especially in its social context. His involvement in the editing of the United Nations World Happiness Report has sparked a worldwide discussion on well-being, society, and government policy. His areas of interest include well-being, social capital, applied macroeconomics, international economics, comparative economic growth, and natural resource economics.


Queen's Golden Jubilee Award, Canada, 2003.

Donner Prize, 2002-3.

Officer of the Order of Canada, 1987.

Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1976.

Relevant Publications

J.F. Helliwell, "Social norms, happiness, and the environment: closing the circle," SSPP, vol. 10, no. 1, 2014.


J. F. Helliwell, How Much Do National Borders Matter? Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2000.

J. F. Helliwell, Globalization and Well-Being, and Well-Being for Public Policy. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002.



Program Co-Director Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being

Senior Fellow Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being


University of British ColumbiaVancouver School of Economics


PhD Oxford University

MA Oxford University

B.Comm. University of British Columbia



Ideas Related to John F. Helliwell

Canada remains 7th in World Happiness Report rankings

The 2018 report also ranks where immigrants are happiest Canada remains the seventh happiest country in the world, according to...

News | Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being

Akerlof, Helliwell appointed CIFAR Distinguished Fellows

The CIFAR Board of Directors appointed economists George Akerlof and John Helliwell as CIFAR Distinguished Fellows at its meeting June...

News | Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being

Losing sharpens the sting of inequality

“Losses loom larger than gains,” as the saying goes. But a new experiment reveals the psychology behind the expression and...

News | Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being

Fifth World Happiness Report released

The fifth World Happiness Report, edited by John F. Helliwell, co-director of CIFAR’s program in Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being,...

Case Study | Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being

Finding new ways to measure community well-being

CIFAR fellows, advisors and post-docs have helped to assemble a critical mass of research that provides a new way to...

Symposium Debrief | Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being

Evidence to action: inspiring ideas for happier communities

CIFAR researchers and community leaders came together to discuss the latest research in happiness, and how it can be used...