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Michael is a Professor of Public Policy at the Policy Institute. His research has three main strands; the use of causal methods and particularly randomised trials to evaluate policy interventions; the use of behavioural science in policy design; and increasing social mobility and opportunity.

Michael has previously served as the Founding Chief Executive of What Works for Children's Social Care, and Chief Scientist at the Behavioural Insights Team, where he has led diverse teams of researchers, policy specialists and practitioners to improve outcomes for vulnerable people in the UK and overseas.

Michael is an Associate Fellow of the Blavatnik School of Government, where he teaches Behavioural Science and Policy, and an affiliate of the Harvard Behavioral Insights Group. He has taught experimental design and executive education at the university of Bristol and Warwick Business School.

He holds an MSc in Economics and Public Policy, and a PhD in Economics, both from the University of Bristol. He previously taught public policy analysis at the University of Bristol, worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath, and has completed post-doctoral research at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Scales of justice

27 September 2021

The Problem with Pareto

A Pareto improvement is one that “makes someone better off without making anyone else worse off”,…