Andrew Oswald is Professor of Economics at Warwick University. He has held permanent and visiting posts at Oxford, the London School of Economics, Princeton, Dartmouth and Harvard. His doctorate, in 1980 from Oxford, was on the theory of trade union behaviour. He has also worked on wages, unemployment, entrepreneurship, job satisfaction, happiness, and mental health. Andrew’s current research lies at the borders between economics, psychology, epidemiology and medicine. He has received a number of awards for contributions to economics and social science, including Princeton University's Lester Prize for the book The Wage Curve published by MIT Press, and an ESRC Professorship in the U.K.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in October 1999. From May 2011 until December 2012 he was Visiting Research Fellow and Acting Director of Research at IZA.

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Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11184
forthcoming in: Journal of Economic Literature

In Happiness for All?, Carol Graham raises disquieting ideas about today's United States. The challenge she puts forward is an important one. Here we review the intellectual case and offer additional evidence. We conclude broadly on the author's side. Strikingly, Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11059

On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (so-called 'Brexit'). This paper uses newly released information, from the Understanding Society data set, to examine the characteristics of individuals who were for and against Brexit. Two key findings emerge. First, unhappy feelings contributed to Brexit. However,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10959
Aleksandra Katolik, Andrew J. Oswald

The antidepressant pill is an important modern commodity. Its growing role in the world has been largely ignored by researchers in economics departments and business schools. Scholars may be unaware how many citizens and employees now take these pills. Here we review some of the social-science literature on the topic....

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10958

Using seven recent data sets, covering 51 countries and 1.3 million randomly sampled people, the paper examines the pattern of psychological well-being from approximately age 20 to age 90. Two conceptual approaches to this issue are possible. Despite what has been argued in the literature, neither is the 'correct' one,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10759
Andrew J. Oswald, Ahmed Tohamy

The idea that humans – especially females – are prone to some form of 'midlife crisis' has typically been viewed with extreme skepticism by social scientists. We point out the potential equivalence between an age U-shape in a new well-being literature and a matching hill-shape in especially female suicide risk...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10717

Being told the sex of your unborn child is a major exogenous 'shock'. In the first study of its kind, we collect before-and-after data from hospital wards. We test for the causal effects of learning child gender upon people's degree of risk-aversion. Using a standard Holt-Laury criterion, the parents of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10183

Women typically earn less than men. The reasons are not fully understood. Previous studies argue that this may be because (i) women 'don't ask' and (ii) the reason they fail to ask is out of concern for the quality of their relationships at work. This account is difficult to assess...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9401
forthcoming in: Ecological Economics

Governments are becoming interested in the concept of human well-being and how truly to assess it. As an alternative to traditional economic measures, some nations have begun to collect information on citizens' happiness, life satisfaction, and other psychological scores. Yet how could such data actually be used? This paper is...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8829

How should the productivity of research universities be measured? This task is difficult but important. The recent Research Excellence Framework in the UK, which was based on peer review, suggests that there has been a marked improvement in UK academic research in economics and in many other subjects. But is...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8559
forthcoming in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review

Nearly all workers have a supervisor or 'boss'. Yet there is almost no published research by economists into how bosses affect the quality of employees' lives. This study offers some of the first formal evidence. First, it is shown that a boss's technical competence is the single strongest predictor of...

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