Richard Layard is the founder-Director of the Centre for Economic Performance - a leading inter-disciplinary research centre at the London School of Economics. He is currently co-Director of their Community Wellbeing programme.
Richard is an economist who thinks there is more to happiness than just the economy. In 2005 he wrote the best-selling book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, translated into 20 languages.
He has had huge influence on making psychological therapy more widely available in Britain’s National Health Service, and in 2014 co-authored Thrive on how we can secure a better deal for mental health. In 2018 he co-authored The Origins of Happiness – an analysis of what determines our happiness, based on a range of longitudinal datasets.
Richard’s latest book "Wellbeing: Science and Policy" is the first, field-defining textbook on the subject of wellbeing science. It aims create a whole new generation of researchers and analysts with expertise in the science of wellbeing and to integrate the social sciences by showing how each of them contributes to the goal of human wellbeing.
In 2010 Richard Layard co-founded of Action for Happiness, an international movement to promote a happier way of living. Since 2012 he has also been a co-editor of the World Happiness Report - which is published at the UN every March on International World Happiness Day. He is also a Director of the World Wellbeing Movement, based at Oxford University's Wellbeing Research Centre.
In 2000 Richard was made a member of the House of Lords and since then has played an active role in the political arena. He served on the Select Committee for Economic Affairs from 2004-2019 and in 2018, with the support of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, he revived the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics which published their report A Spending Review to Increase Wellbeing: an open letter to the Chancellor calling for a major change of direction. That policy should be targeted at the wellbeing of the people and not at economic growth.