Chris’ research has involved a longstanding focus on the wellbeing of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups investigated using statistical and micro-econometric techniques. A self-described reflexive ‘economist with a conscience’, his research increasingly reflects a cognisance of the many and varied forms of injustice.

Chris aims to harness interdisciplinary social science research to provide a much needed evidence to guide the allocation of public and private resources to where they can do the most good and have the largest positive impact on people’s lives. In practical terms, Chris' research aims to achieve this through the intimate co-creation of research questions with ongoing feedback from the government and the sector; coupled with the dissemination of research findings in a supportive and engaged manner which lends itself to implementation and meaningful socially significant change.

Chris is currently working with St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland. This research involves the evaluation of the appropriateness of their administrative data for research purposes, and the provision of advice on data collection, management and reporting practices. The work forms the foundation for the necessary infrastructure for the measurement outcomes by the Society. This research also involves a series of empirical investigations into how charitable works improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people. This work is in line with the Society’s outcomes-focused approach to prosecuting their Mission and achieving their Vision.

Chris has also been actively involved in the development of an Evaluation Framework for the Financial and Wellbeing Capability Activity for the Department of Social Services. Chris has been leading a large scale analysis of the Department of Human Services’ Financial Service Initiatives and the Department of Social Services’ Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity. This research is also in collaboration with the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland.

Chris’ PhD thesis investigated the influence of the environment on life satisfaction, for which he was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for outstanding Excellence in the Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Interests:

  • Social Policy
  • Social Justice
  • The Economics of Happiness
  • Environmental Policy
  • Ecological Economics

Full profile: Dr Christopher Ambrey on UQ Researchers

Staff Details

+ 61 7 334 69687
+ 61 7 334 67646

Research Fellow

  • BCom (Economics) 
  • PhD (Economics) Hons (Economics)