Paul Frijters is a Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland and an Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University’s Research School of Social Sciences. He is also a Research Director of the RUMiCI project. The project monitors rural to urban migration in China and Indonesia.

Paul holds a Ph.D. in welfare and well being in Russia from the University of Amsterdam. His Ph.D. thesis applies and extends psychological insights about the causes, definition and measurement of well being into economics.

Paul has a wide range of research interests, specialising in happiness, labour market, health economics and econometrics. He is particularly interested in how socio-economic variables affect the human life experience and the ‘unanswerable’ economic mysteries in life. His recent research into rural-urban migration in China produced new evidence and a prediction that China would be the largest economy in the world within the next 10 years.

In 2009, Paul was awarded the Economic Society of Australia’s Young Economist Award. Paul is also a contributor to the Club Troppo and Core Economics blogs.

Download Paul’s CV here.


Frijters, P, Johnston, D., Shah, M., Shields, M. (2013) “Intra-household Resource Allocation: Do US Parents Reduce or Reinforce Child Ability Gaps?“, Demography, forthcoming.

Frijters, P., Johnston, D., Lordan, G., Shields, M. (2013), ‘Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US’, Social Science and Medicine, forthcoming, accepted January 2013.

Lordan, G., Frijters, P. (2013), ‘Unplanned Pregnancy & the Impact on Sibling Health Outcomes’, Health Economics, forhcoming.

Mujcic, R., and Frijters, P. (2013), ‘Economic Choices and Status: Measuring Preferences for Income Rank’, forthcoming Oxford Economic Papers.

Frijters, P., & Barón, J.D., (2012). ‘The Cult of Theoi: Economic Uncertainty and Religion’, forthcoming Economic Record.

Frijters,P., Foster, J., Johnston, D. (2012), ‘The triumph of hope over regret: A note on the utility value of good health expectations’, forthcoming Journal of Economic Psychology.

Frijters, P., Johnston, D., Shields, M.A. (2012), ‘The Optimality of Tax Transfers: What does Life Satisfaction Data tell us?’, forthcoming Journal of Happiness Studies.

Frijters, P., Meng, X. (2012), ‘Are optimistic expectations keeping the Chinese Happy?’, forthcoming Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation.

Frijters, P., Johnston, D., Shields, M.A. (2011), ‘Happiness Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data’, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Volume 113, Issue 1, pages 190-211, March 2011.

Frijters, P., Shields, M.A., and J.P. Haisken-DeNew (2011), ‘The Increasingly Mixed Proportional Hazard. Model: An Application to Socioeconomic. Status, Health Shocks, and Mortality’, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, April 1, 2011, 29(2): 271-281.

Frijters, P, Shields, M.A.,Wheatley Price, S., and J. Williams (2011), ‘Quantifying the Cost of Passive Smoking on Child Health: Evidence from Children’s Cotinine Samples’, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, 174(1), pages 195-212.

Frijters, P., Hatton, T., Martin, R.M., Shields, M.A. (2010), ‘Childhood Economic Conditions and Length of Life: Evidence from the UK Boyd Orr Cohort, 1937-2005’, forthcoming Journal of Health Economics.

Frijters, P., Johnson, D., Shah, M., Shields, M.A. (2009), ‘To Work or Not to Work? Maternal Labor Supply and Child Development’, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3) July 2009, pp. 97–110.

Clark, A., Frijters, P., Shields, M.A. (2008), ‘Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles’, Journal of Economic Literature’, 46(1), March 2008, pp. 95-144. also IZA, NCER, and DELTA discussion paper.