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Happiness: lessons from a new science

Richard Layard
Penguin (7 April 2011) Second Edition

Much has changed since Richard Layard’s ground-breaking first edition of Happiness in 2005. On the one hand, the interest in well-being has ballooned. Happiness is in the news constantly with both David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy aiming to make happiness the rival to GDP. On the other hand, there is a fierce intellectual debate over happiness, and there are many sceptics.

In this new edition of his landmark book, Richard Layard answers his critics and addresses the key questions: Why is happiness so important? Can happiness be measured? Is happiness the business of government? He shows that there is a paradox at the heart of our lives. Most people want more income. Yet as societies become richer, they do not become happier.

  • Lord Richard Layard is emeritus professor of economics at LSE and founder of the LSE Centre for Economic Performance.

Purchase this book from the publishers|

On 12 April 2011, alongside Geoff Mulgan and Anthony Seldon, Richard Layard, will be launching ‘Action for Happiness’, a new mass movement to create a happier society. For more information, visit www.actionforhappiness.org/|.