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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

Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being | Case Study

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...

Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being | Symposium Debrief

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...

Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being | Announcement

The 2015 World Happiness Report

The 2015 World Happiness Report, co-edited by CIFAR Senior Fellow John Helliwell, was published April 23. Canada ranked fifth happiest country in the world.


World Happiness Report ranks Canada fifth happiest country in the world

The 2015 World Happiness Report, published today, ranks Canada fifth for subjective well-being among 158 countries worldwide. Canada has moved up one place in the rankings since the last report in 2013.

Social Interactions, Identity & Well Being | News

Unemployment hurts even those with jobs

Increasing unemployment damages happiness and well-being, even for those who still have jobs, a new study has found. Using an...