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Key Writings

Subjective Wellbeing


Happiness – Lessons from a New Science, Penguin (2005).  Translated into 20 languages. (Second edition, 2011)

Origins of Happiness: The science of wellbeing over the life course (with Andrew E. Clark, Sarah Flèche, Nattavudh Powdthavee & George Ward). Princeton University Press, (2018).

Can We Be Happier? Evidence and Ethics (with George Ward), Penguin (2020).

Wellbeing: Science & Policy (with Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Cambridge University Press (2023).

Human satisfactions and public policy”, Economic Journal, Vol.90 pp.737-750 (1980).  Reprinted in Richard A Easterlin (ed),  Happiness in Economics,  Edward Elgar, (2002).

Rethinking Public Economics: The Implications of Rivalry and Habit” in L. Bruni and P. L. Porta (eds) Economics and Happiness, Oxford University Press, (2005).

Happiness and Public Policy:  a Challenge to the Profession”, Economic Journal, 116, C24-C33, (2006), and in B.S. Frey and A. Stutzer (eds) Economics and Psychology: A Promising New Cross- Disciplinary Field, The MIT Press, (2007). AND in in C.L. Cooper and I.T. Robertson (eds) Management and Happiness, Edward Elgar, (2013).

The marginal utility of income” (with S. Nickell and G. Mayraz),  Journal of Public Economics, Special Issue: Happiness and Public Economics Vol 92, Nos 8-9, August (2008).

Well-being Measurement and Public Policy” in A Krueger (ed) Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations, National Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being, NBER Conference, Report, University of Chicago Press, (2009).

Measuring subjective well-being", Science, Vol 327, Pages 534-5, (2010).


Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures
(with Paul  Dolan and  Robert  Metcalfe),  CEP Special Report 23, (2011).

The Causes of Happiness and Misery”, (with A.E. Clark, and C. Senik) in (J. Helliwell, R. Layard and J. Sachs, eds.), World Happiness Report, pp. 58-89: The Earth Institute, Columbia University, CIFAR, and CEP, (2012).


Mental Health: the new frontier for labour economics”, in D. McDaid, and C.L. Cooper  (eds) Wellbeing: A complete reference guide Volume 5 (The economics of wellbeing), Wiley-Blackwell, (2014).

What predicts a successful life? A life-course model of wellbeing”, (with A.E. Clark, F. Cornaglia, N. Powdthavee, and  J.Vernoit), The Economic Journal. Vol. 124, Pages F720-738, (2014).

How to make policy when happiness is the goal" (with Gus O'Donnell) in J. F. Helliwell, R. Layard and J. Sachs (eds). World Happiness Report 2015.  New York, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, (2015).

"Promoting Happiness Ethics" in J. F. Helliwell, R. Layard and J. Sachs (eds) . World Happiness Report  (2016 Update).  New York, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, (2016).


The Key Determinants of Happiness and Misery" (with A. Clark, S. Flèche, N. Powdthavee and G. Ward) in J. F. Helliwell, R. Layard and J. Sachs (eds). World Happiness Report 2017.  New York, UN SDSN, (2017).

A happy choice: wellbeing as the goal of government” (with Frijters, P., Clark, A. E., &  Krekel, C.) Behavioural Public Policy, 4(2), 126-165. (2019).


Taking a wellbeing years approach to policy choice” (with De Neve, J. E., Clark, A. E., Krekel, C., & O’Donnell, G.) BMJ, 371. (2020).


Living long and living well: The wellby approach.” (with Ekaterina Oparina). In in J. F. Helliwell, R. Layard, J. Sachs and J.E. De Neve (eds).  World Happiness Report 2021, p.191. New York, UN SDSN, (2017).

A local community course that raises mental wellbeing and pro-sociality” (with De Neve, J. E., Fancourt, D., & Krekel, C.). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 188, 322-336. (2021).

The True Returns to the Choice of Occupation and Education” (with A.E. Clark and M. Cotofan). CEP Discussion Paper No. 1746. LSE, (2021).

Mental Health


Thrive: The power of evidence-based psychological therapies, with David M. Clark, Penguin,  (2014).

A good childhood: Searching for values in a competitive age, with Judy Dunn. Penguin UK.  (2009)

"The Happiness Agenda: The Next 10 Years". (with Helliwell, J. F. & Sachs, J. D.) World Happiness Report 2023. Sustainable Development Solutions Network, (2023).

The case for psychological treatment centres”, BMJ, 332: 1030-2, (2006).

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy: Initial Evaluation of Two UK Demonstration Sites” (with D Clark, R Smithies, D Richards, R Suckling and B Wright), Behaviour Research and Therapy, Vol 47, Issue 8, pp.637-728, (2009).

Enhancing Recovery Rates: Lessons from Year One of the English Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme”, (with A. Gyani, R. Shafran, R., and D.M. Clark), Behaviour Research and Therapy, Vol 51, Issue 9, pp.597-606, (2013).

Mental Illness and Unhappiness”, (with D. Chisholm, V. Patel, S. Saxena) in (J. Helliwell, R. Layard and J. Sachs, eds.), World Happiness Report 2013, pp. 38-53. Columbia University: UNSDSN, (2013).

Why We Should Spend More on Mental HealthAmerican Journal of Medical Research 3(1): 188–206, (2016).

The economics of mental health”. IZA World of Labor. Issue 321 (2016),

'Do more of those in misery suffer from poverty, unemployment or mental illness?', (with Sarah Flèche) Kyklos, 70(1), Pages 27-41, (2017).

"Mental illness destroys happiness and is costless to treat" in J.F Helliwell R. Layard and J. Sachs (eds) Global happiness policy report 2018, New York: SDSN (2018).

Transparency about the outcomes of mental health services (IAPT approach): an analysis of public data.” (with Clark, D. M., Canvin, L., Green, J., Layard, R., Pilling, S., & Janecka, M). The Lancet, 391(10121), 679-686, (2018).


Complete list of publications can be found in Richard Layard's CV.

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