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Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures - Happiness: Has Social Science a Clue?

Speaker: Professor Lord Richard Layard (CEP & LSE)

Date: Monday 3rd, Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th March 2003
Venue: Old Theatre, LSE, Old Building, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE


People want to be happy. But do we know what makes them happy, and how society is best organised to promote happiness? We know more than is generally realised. These lectures will review evidence from economics, psychology, sociology and neuroscience and draw conclusions about what priorities would serve us better than those which are currently pursued.

Richard Layard is co-director of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. He has written widely on unemployment, inflation, education, inequality and post-Communist reform. Since 2000 he has been a member of the House of Lords.

  • Lecture 1: What is Happiness and are we Getting Happier?
    Chair: Gavyn Davies, Chairman, BBC
    Transcript (PDF)
  • Lecture 2: Income and happiness: rethinking economic policy
    Chair: Christopher Johnson
    Transcript (PDF)
  • Lecture 3:What would make a happier society?
    Chair: Adair Turner, Vice-Chairman, Merrill Lynch Holdings Ltd
    Transcript (PDF)