Dr. Cahit Guven: Measuring Happiness – From Personal Lives to Public Policy | Sero Boost #38

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Dr. Cahit Guven, a respected expert in applied econometrics with a Ph.D. in economics

In this episode, host Lu Ngo explores the art of measuring happiness and its relationship with social responsibility. Joining her is Dr. Cahit Guven, a renowned global econometrician at XERO, who brings over a decade of research on happiness and well-being to the conversation. They explore the connections between individual happiness, social responsibility, and the policies that shape lives.

Meet Cahit Guven 

Dr. Cahit Guven is currently the Global Econometrician within the Small Business Insights Program at XERO, a global cloud accounting software company. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Houston, USA, and is a well-known applied econometrician.

He had worked at Deakin University for more than a decade, researching the economics of happiness and well-being and published influential articles on the subject. His research was featured in domestic and international media outlets, including the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. His work on marriage quality and happiness was recently featured in Psychology Today magazine.

About the episode

Dr. Cahit shares insights from his extensive research on happiness and well-being. He emphasizes that happiness is a universal concept characterized by personal contentment and a perception of a good overall quality of life. He discusses the efficient measurement of happiness in economics and its consistency as a measure of life satisfaction or subjective well-being.

The conversation then shifts towards social responsibility, encompassing both individual and corporate aspects. He explores the collective responsibility of individuals, organizations, and businesses for the well-being of society at large. Dr. Cahit highlights the significance of personal responsibility and individual well-being and the role of businesses in contributing to environmental sustainability.

Drawing from his study titled “Are Happier People Better Citizens,” Dr. Cahit reveals the connections between happiness and social responsibility. He looked into how happier individuals tend to engage more in civic activities, such as higher voter turnout, increased volunteering, and greater trust in others. 

Interestingly, his research uncovers an inverted relationship between happiness and social capital, suggesting an optimal level of happiness for effective social contribution.

This episode encourages listeners to recognize the link between happiness and social responsibility and explores policy recommendations to promote societal happiness. It also highlights the potential for individuals to collaboratively promote social responsibility within their communities, positively impacting personal contentment and public well-being.

In conclusion

Key takeaways from this episode include the understanding that happiness is a universal concept, encompassing personal contentment and a perception of a good overall quality of life. The conversation underscores the connections between individual happiness and social responsibility, revealing how happier individuals tend to engage more in civic activities and contribute positively to their communities. 

Dr. Cahit’s research highlights the significance of this link and offers policy recommendations to enhance social responsibility, ultimately boosting overall societal happiness.

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