The We Society

S5 Ep1: Should governments care about wellbeing? with Professor Richard Layard

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Episode notes

Professor Lord Richard Layard is one of the first economists to look at happiness as a metric that Governments worldwide should strive to improve in their population.

He was the founder-director of LSE's Centre for Economic Performance and is now the director of the Centre's Wellbeing programme. In 2005, he wrote Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, which was published in 20 languages.

We all quest for happiness, but how do we measure a happy life? Is it linked to wealth, relationships or absence of pain? Professor Richard Layard doesn't believe that the Gross Domestic Product of a country tells us much about the well-being of its people.

On the eve of his 90th birthday in March 2024, Professor Lord Layard joins host Will Hutton to discuss the need to take well-being and happiness more seriously. 

Season 5 of the We Society Podcast from the Academy of Social Sciences tackles the big questions through a social science lens. Throughout this series, you'll be hearing some of the best ideas to shape the way we live.

Hosted by journalist and Academy President Will Hutton, we interview some of Britain’s top social scientists and public figures from across the globe to explore their evidence-led solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

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