After bailing out of law school I initially trained as a social theorist, with majors in philosophy and history and minors in sociology and politics. Then I wandered for a bit (mostly coaching tennis and moonlighting as an editor to fund international travel) before making my way to a master of international and development economics. I am now completing a PhD in economics trying to build a better model of happiness, life satisfaction, well-being or whatever you want to call it. This neatly bridges my undergraduate and postgraduate studies. I also maintain a significant side interest in development economics, especially the middle-income trap and the political economy of structural reform. I have worked for the East Asia Forum for the past 5 years and consequently have decent competency in the political economy of Asian public policy, so all my research revolves around case studies drawn from the region.
The well-being literature has recently recognised the distinction between hedonic and eudemonic well-being, or rather, a predominance of positive emotions versus deeper psychological health. The new areas that have been folded in as part of eudemonic well-being, notably relationships, meaning and achievement as part of Martin Seligman’s PERMA framework, are all substantially under-theorised. Fortunately, we have centuries of philosophy to draw on for these topics, as well as a range of important streams of inquiry in psychology, notably self-determination theory, self-discrepancy theory and terror-management theory, to plug this gap. My thesis is an attempt to synthesise the existing literature on emotional well-being with the literature on psychological well-being to produce a model of subjective well-being. It then attempts to fold in the development economics literature on objective well-being and how it is measured in things like GDP, the human development index and the four capital framework, to arrive at useful comments on how public policy might engage with well-being without doing anything disastrous.
Fabian, M. ‘The Coalescence of Being: Solving the problem of despair with insights from modern psychology’, available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3010028
- Fabian, M. and Breunig, R. (eds.) (Forthcoming), ‘Hybrids: Taking public policy beyond ideology’, London, UK: Routledge
- Fabian, M. and Breunig, R. (Forthcoming), ‘Long work-hours and job satisfaction: do overworkers get trapped in bad jobs?’, in Social Science Quarterly
- ‘Paying overwork: What it’s worth’, in Solutions, vol. 6 No. 1, 2015
- ‘What Asia’s experience can teach us about happiness’ in East Asia Forum Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 3
- ‘It’s time to draw the line in the sand on trigger warnings’, Quillette, 13/10/2016, http://quillette.com/2016/10/12/time-to-draw-the-line-in-the-sand-on-tri...
- ‘India needs to harness the market instead of fighting it’, East Asia Forum, 21/06/2016, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/06/21/india-needs-to-harness-the-marke...
- ‘Generalising the middle-income trap’, East Asia Forum, 28/04/2016 http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/04/28/generalising-the-middle-income-t...
- ‘India’s demographic dividend strait-jacketed by labour regulations’, East Asia Forum, 25/04/2016 http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/04/25/indias-demographic-dividend-stra...
- ‘Confusion about -isms is compounding schisms’, Quillette, 11/04/2016 http://quillette.com/2016/04/11/confusion-about-isms-is-compounding-schi...
- ‘Socialism is worse than capitalism - you want a welfare state’, Quillette, 21/0½016; http://quillette.com/2016/0½1/socialism-is-worse-than-capitalism-you-wa...
- ‘Childcare not the only cost for working women in Japan’; East Asia Forum, 16 September 2014
- ‘Japan needs to reform its work hour culture’; East Asia Forum, 22 January 2014
- ‘ASEAN the key to security in Asia’; East Asia Forum, 10 August 2013
- ‘For love not money: kidney exchange encourages social contract’; The Conversation, 24 February 2012
- ‘What’s great about Canberra’; ANU Reporter, vol. 45 no. 2 pg. 26
- ‘Stability of Happiness: theories and evidence on whether happiness can change, by Kennon M. Sheldon and Richard E. Lucas eds. (Elsevier Academic Press, Oxford, UK, 2014) pp. xvi + 317’, in Economic Record, Vol. 92, no. 297, June 2016
- ‘Happiness and Economic Growth: Lessons from developing countries by Andrew E. Clark and Claudia Senik (Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, 2014), pp. xiv + 277’, in Economic Record, Vol. 92 No. 296, March 2016
- ‘Why Gender Matters in Economics by Mukesh Eswaran (Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ), pp. xii + 392’, in Economic Record, Vol.91, No. 292, 2015
- ‘Measuring Happiness: the economics of wellbeing’ (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-4932.12211/abstract) by Joachim Weimann, Andreas Knabe and Ronnie Schob (MIT Press, Cambridge: MA, 2015) pp. x + 212 in Economic Record, Vol. 91 no. 294, 2015
Radio and television
- Guest on ABC 666 mornings with Alex Sloan to discuss kidney procurement policy, Monday March 05 2012; recording available on request
- Guest on Channel News Asia - Between the Lines to discuss long work hours in Japan; http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/video/between-the-lines/2316906.html
Scholarships and fellowships
Australian Postgraduate Award
EABER PhD top-up Scholarship
National Parliamentary Fellowship Program - India
2015-2017: Tutor - Governments, Markets and Global Change 2015-2017: Tutor - Issues in Development Policy 2016-2017: Tutor - The Economic Way of Thinking
2011-2017: East Asia Forum (General Manager and other roles)
2016: Policy Adviser, Office of Baijayant Panda MP Lok Sabha, India
2012: Tutor - Fundamentals of Political Theory
2011-2013: Tutor - Tjabal Centre for Indigenous Students
2010-2012: General Manager, Centre for the Study of Australian Politics
2010: Academic Sub-Dean, Burton and Garran Hall
Crawford School of Public Policy
ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building No. 132
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia