Richard Layard is a labor economist who has worked for most of his life on how to reduce unemployment and inequality. He is also one of the first economists to work on happiness, and his main current interest is how better mental health could improve our social and economic life. He is founder-director of LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, and is co-director of the Centre’s programme on Community Wellbeing.
In 2005 he wrote Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, which was published in 20 languages. He continues to find significant effects of relative income on happiness and to emphasize the importance of non-income variables on aggregate happiness. In 2018, he co-authored a book called The Origins of Happiness: The science of wellbeing over the life course. His latest book, Can we be happier? was published in 2020.
Layard was made a Labour life peer in the House of Lords on 3 May 2000 as Baron Layard, of Highgate in the London Borough of Haringey.
Watch Lord Layard’s Keynote address to the Happy Homes, Happy Society? meeting: “A Happy Society is the Fruit of Happy and Caring Relationships at Home.”