Arie KapteynProfessor (Research) of Economics
Measurement of well-being, new methods of data collection, financial decision making
These issues are intellectually exciting and of major societal importance.
My interest in subjective well-being is the result of my PhD research under the supervision of Bernard van Praag at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. This led to a more general interest in data collection and in understanding economic decision making.
In a joint paper with Jeff Brown, Luttmer, and Olivia Mitchell, we investigated how people value annuities (such as Social Security benefits). We found a general inability to trade off monthly payments against one-time payments of lump sums, in particular among people with lower financial literacy. This is important, as it implies that individuals or households may make serious mistakes when trying to decide how to prepare for financial security in retirement.
One of the things I'm most interested in is how and why subjective well-being varies across countries.
Internet and mobile tools for data collection
Pen and paper
If it is not fun to do, what is the point?
The capacity to rationalize one's behavior after the fact.
I say 'yes' a lot.