Happiness

Happiness

Lessons from a New Science (Second Edition)

Summary

In this new edition of his landmark book, Richard Layard 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. This is not just anecdotally true, it is the story told by countless pieces of scientific research. We now have sophisticated ways of measuring how happy people are, and all the evidence shows that on average people have grown no happier in the last fifty years, even as average incomes have more than doubled. In fact, the First World has more depression, more alcoholism and more crime than fifty years ago. This paradox is true of Britain, the United States, continental Europe, and Japan. What is going on? Now fully revised and updated to include developments since first publication, Layard answers his critics in what is still the key book in 'happiness studies'.

Reviews

  • Unorthodox, devastatingly straightforward and more provocative of actual thought than 90% of books said to be "thought-provoking". If happiness isn't a political issue, what's the point of politics?
    Andrew Marr

About the author

Richard Layard

Richard Layard is founder and former director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. He is the author of the ground-breaking Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (2005), which has been published in nineteen languages, and (with David Clark) Thrive: The Power of Psychological Therapies (2014). He is co-editor (with John Helliwell and Jeffrey Sachs) of the annual World Happiness Report, and has been instrumental in the development of improving access to psychological therapies in the UK.
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