A 'citizen perspective' should be given a greater role in wellbeing public policymaking.
We compare and evaluate two competing paradigms in the ‘wellbeing public policy’ (WPP) space with the intention of promoting interdisciplinary dialogue. We argue that most WPP proposals adopt the same ‘social planner perspective’ (SPP) that undergirds conventional economic policy analysis. The SPP is broadly technocratic, emphasising scientific standards for what constitutes good policy and empowering ‘dispassionate’ experts. We argue that WPP could lend itself to a more transformative agenda, one that embraces the value-laden nature of ‘wellbeing’ as a concept. We call this the ‘citizen’s perspective’ (CP). It would see WPP relinquish the SPP’s stance of detached analysis by technical experts and instead give a greater role to participatory and deliberative modes of policymaking to define, analyse, and measure wellbeing and ultimately make policy decisions. We present a preliminary framework for analysing when the SPP or CP is more suitable to a particular area of WPP.