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Director, Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science

Prof. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve

Jan’s research interests are in behavioural economics, public policy and human wellbeing. He is the Director of the Wellbeing Research Centre and Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at the Saïd Business School at Oxford.

His research has been published in academic outlets such as Science, Nature, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Management Science, The Journal of Political Economy, Psychological Science, The British Medical Journal, and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The underlying theme throughout his research is the study of human wellbeing. This ongoing research agenda has led to new insights in the relationship between happiness and income, productivity, firm performance, and economic growth. His research was selected among ‘The Management Ideas that Mattered Most’ by the Harvard Business Review and he was awarded the inaugural Ruut Veenhoven Award for his contributions to the scientific study of happiness.

Jan is an Editor of the World Happiness Report and the co-founder of the World Wellbeing Movement which is a coalition of exemplary corporations that help put wellbeing metrics at the heart of business and public policy. He is a frequent advisor to governments and businesses including Unilever, Gallup, and BetterUp and currently guides the development of the world’s largest study on wellbeing at work for the global job search site Indeed with over 17 million surveys completed so far.

Jan co-authored the first major textbook on wellbeing science with Richard Layard in 2023 (Cambridge University Press) and his book with George Ward summarizing their research on wellbeing in the workplace is forthcoming with Harvard Business Press. 

Prior to joining Oxford, Jan was Assistant Professor in Political Economy and Behavioural Science at University College London and a Visiting Professor in Economics and Political Science at INSEAD. He is affiliated with the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE and is a faculty associate of both the Department of Economics and the Department of Politics at Oxford.

Jan obtained his PhD from the London School of Economics and was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University. His research and commentary regularly feature in the media, including in The Economist, the Financial Times, the Harvard Business Review, and on the BBC. He is a frequent speaker at academic and non-academic conferences, including at PopTech and TED.

Alongside his role at Saïd Business School, Jan is the KSI Fellow and Vice-Principal of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford.