Kelsey J. O'Connor

Research Affiliate

STATEC Research – National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies

Kelsey J. O’Connor is a Researcher in the Economics of Well-Being with STATEC Research (part of the national statistics office of Luxembourg). He serves as Associate Editor (economics) for the Journal of Happiness Studies, on the Executive Board of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS), and on the Advisory Panel for the What Works Centre for WellBeing (U.K.).

In addition to being a Research Affiliate with IZA (joining in 2021), he is a Global Labor Economics (GLO) Fellow, Senior Research Associate with the School of Economics at the University of Johannesburg, and Research Advisor with Gallup. In 2021, he received the Young Scholar Award from ISQOLS.

He cohosts STATEC Research’s Measuring Progress and Well-being Research Seminar (

His research focuses largely on assessing both the causes and consequences of subjective well-being, or happiness, particularly in the fields: economic development, labor economics, and social policy. His goal is to contribute research leading ultimately to a redefinition of success in national discourse, thereby supporting systems, both public and private, to promote subjective well-being.

He completed a Ph.D. in economics in 2017 at the University of Southern California.


IZA Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 15904
published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2022, 119 (37), e2210639119.
IZA Discussion Paper No. 13923
published in: Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, Springer, first Online: 06 November 2022 (latest version)
IZA Policy Paper No. 194