E62-384, MIT Sloan, 30 Memorial Dr, Cambridge MA

[cv] wardg@mit.edu [twitter] [google scholar]

I am a PhD student in Behavioural and Policy Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I am based at the Institute for Work and Employment Research, MIT Sloan School of Management. My work aims to combine insights from economics, psychology and political science, and focuses primarily on the study of human happiness and well-being.

Main research interests:

  • Psychology & economics
  • Subjective well-being
  • Work & employment
  • Political economy

Journal Articles

(Un)Happiness and Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming

[pdf] [online appendix] [replication files]

(with Lyle Ungar, Jan-Emmanuel de Neve, and Johannes Eichstaedt)

Happiness and Voting: Evidence from Four Decades of Elections in Europe

American Journal of Political Science, 2020, 64(3): 504-518

[pdf] [online appendix] [replication files] [old version]

Selected Media: BBC News (TV), BBC News, Prospect, The Economist, HuffPost, CNN, Sydney Morning Herald

The Asymmetric Experience of Positive and Negative Economic Growth: Global Evidence Using Subjective Well-Being Data

Review of Economics and Statistics, 2018, 100(2): 362–375

(with Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Femke De Keulenaer, Bert Van Landeghem, Georgios Kavetsos, and Michael I. Norton)

[pdf] [online appendix] [replication files]

Selected Media: Financial Times, The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review

Does Work Make You Happy?

Harvard Business Review, March 2017 (with Jan-Emmanuel de Neve)


The Origins of Happiness: The Science of Well-Being over the Life Course

Princeton University Press, 2018

(with Andrew E. Clark, Sarah Flèche, Richard Layard, and Nattavudh Powdthavee)

[PUP] [vox column] [WHR summary] [online appendix] [replication files]

"Rooted in the best-available evidence for each stage in life, The Origins of Happiness provides an ambitious and comprehensive analysis of what leads to a satisfying life, from childhood to old age."―Alan Krueger, Princeton University

"The Origins of Happiness is a wonderful book. It presents a new look at what causes human well-being, and carefully analyzes the policies and programs that can enhance it."―Ed Diener, coauthor of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth

"If policymakers want to improve lives, it is important to understand how people feel―and why. This book charts new territory, providing the first map of the long-term drivers of people's happiness."―Martine Durand, chief statistician, OECD

"This work is a must-read for the academic, policymaker, and informed citizen alike."―Carol Graham, author of Happiness for All?

Selected Media: Financial Times, FT Editorial, Guardian, Independent, BBC News, Business Insider, Newsweek, HuffPost, Vice, Le Figaro, Folha de S Paolo, WBUR, Telegraph, Vanity Fair, Grazia, The Conversation

Book Chapters

What Makes for a Good Job? Evidence Using Subjective Wellbeing Data

in M. Rojas (Ed.), The Economics of Happiness, Springer, 2019, pp. 241-268

(with Christian Krekel and Jan-Emmanuel de Neve)

[online appendix & replication files]

Selected Work in Progress / Under Review

Does Employee Happiness Have an Impact on Productivity?

(with Clément Bellet and Jan-Emmanuel de Neve)

[working paper]

Selected Media: The Economist

Negative Emotions Predict Populist Voting

(with Sandra Matz, Andrew Schwartz, Salvatore Giorgi and Jochen Menges)

Employee Wellbeing, Productivity and Firm Performance

(with Christian Krekel and Jan-Emmanuel de Neve)

[working paper] [vox column]

Selected Media: The Economist, World Economic Forum

Other Writing

Happiness and Voting Behaviour

2019, UN World Happiness Report (J. Helliwell, R. Layard & J. Sachs [Eds.])


Selected Media: The Economist, The Economist, CNN, Gallup

Happiness at Work

2017, UN World Happiness Report (J. Helliwell, R. Layard & J. Sachs [Eds.])

(with Jan-Emmanuel de Neve)

[pdf] [appendix]