Love you: public policy for intergenerational wellbeing

by Girol Karacaoglu

How would we design, implement and evaluate public policy if it were based on our love for future generations?

For the philosopher Water Kaufman, ‘I love you’ means:

I want you to live the life that you want to live.
I will be as happy as you if you do; and as unhappy as you if you don’t.

We have no idea what future generations will value and how they will want to live. Nor do we wish to prescribe how they choose to live, so long as they do not prevent others from living the lives they value.

We want to prepare and look after the ‘wellbeing garden’ – the broader ecosystems – that will provide them with the opportunities and capacity to survive and thrive, to flourish in safety. As another philosopher, Walter Benjamin, put it, ‘We want to liberate the future from its deformation in the present’.

Wellbeing is about the ability of individuals and communities to live the lives they value – now and in the future. This is their human right. It would be unjust to prevent the enjoyment of valued lives. Preventing such injustice across generations would be the primary focus of a public policy that has intergenerational wellbeing as its objective.

This book examines the processes by which wellbeing-focussed public policy objectives are established, prioritised, funded, implemented, managed, and evaluated, while ensuring that they remain relevant as social preferences evolve over time.

➡︎ Read the Foreword by Professor Robert H. Wade here



Until recently, Professor Girol Karacaoglu was the Head of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). He went to VUW from the New Zealand Treasury, where he was Chief Economist. Before then, he was the Chief Executive of PSIS (then Co-operative Bank of New Zealand) for nine years.

His previous roles included General Manager at Westpac New Zealand, Chief Economist at the National Bank of New Zealand, and lecturer in Economics at Victoria University of Wellington.

His academic fields of specialisation were in monetary and financial economics, international finance, econometrics, corporate accounting, and finance. His current research interest is in public policy: an integrated approach to environmental, social, and economic policies towards improving intergenerational wellbeing.



Paperback • NZD $34.00
206 pages – 152 x 229 x 8mm – colour throughout
ISBN : 978-0-473-55789-8

ePub • NZD $9.95
ISBN : 978-0-473-55790-4

Kindle / Kindle Fire • NZD 9.95
ISBN : 978-0-473-55792-8

PDF • NZD $9.95
ISBN : 978-0-473-55791-1