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Research Programmes | Wellbeing:

World Wellbeing Panel

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Professor Lord Richard Layard

Professor Richard Layard is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, where he was until 2003 the founder-director of the Centre for Economic Performance. He now heads the Centre's Programme on Wellbeing. Since 2000 he has been a member of the House of Lords.

He is the author of the influential book titled Happiness, which argued that social progress should be judged by the extent of happiness and misery. He is a leading authority in the growing debate on happiness and economics. He has worked on unemployment, inflation, education, inequality, and post-Communist reform. He was an early advocate of the welfare-to-work approach to European unemployment, and his work has influenced policy in many countries. He has also been a champion of apprenticeships for the last 25 years. In 2008, he was awarded the IZA Prize in Labour Economics, jointly with Steve Nickell. More recently he has focussed mainly on wellbeing at all ages.

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Professor Paul Frijters

Paul Frijters completed his Masters in Econometrics at the University of Groningen, including a seven-month stay in Durban, South Africa before completing a PhD at the University of Amsterdam into wellbeing in Russia during the transition. He is now a Professorial Research Fellow at the Wellbeing Programme, Centre for Economic Performance, at the London School of Economics, and Director of the World Wellbeing Panel.

Professor Frijters specializes in applied micro-econometrics, including labor, happiness, and health economics, though he has also worked on pure theoretical topics in macro and micro fields. His main area of interest is in analyzing how socio-economic variables affect the human life experience.

Professor Frijters is a prominent research economist and has published over 70 papers in fields including unemployment policy, discrimination and economic development. He regularly commentates on economic issues in newspapers and on television, including articles in the New York Times and on the BBC.

Before joining the LSE, he was the Research Director of the Rumici Project, an international project into the migration from the countryside to the cities in China and Indonesia, sponsored by ministries, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, and many others, tracking 20,000 individuals for many years.

In 2009 he was voted Australia's best young economist under 40 by the Australian Economic Society.

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Professor John F. Helliwell

John F. Helliwell studies well-being, especially in its social context. His involvement in the editing of the United Nations World Happiness Report has sparked a worldwide discussion on well-being, society, and government policy. His areas of interest include well-being, social capital, applied macroeconomics, international economics, comparative economic growth, and natural resource economics.

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Professor Andrew Clark

Born in London, UK. PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics in 1989. Andrew Clark is CNRS Research Professor at PSE in Paris, France, and Research Fellow at the IZA (Bonn). His work has largely focused on the interface between psychology, sociology and economics; in particular, he has used job and life satisfaction scores, and other psychological indices, as proxy measures of utility. One research field has been that of relative utility or comparisons (to others like you, to others in the same household, and to yourself in the past). Recent work has involved looking at the relationship between individual well-being and income inequality, and collaboration with psychologists to map out habituation to life events.

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Professor Nick Powdthavee

Prior to taking up his position as Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, Nick held positions as Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Principal Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. He has also held positions at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, University of York, and the Institute of Education in London. He was awarded a Master and a PhD in Economics from the University of Warwick. He is a three-time TEDx speaker, and the author of the popular economics book called 'The Happiness Equation: The Surprising Economics of Our Most Valuable Asset'.

Nick has been working with Lord Richard Layard and the well-being team at the London School of Economics to advice policy makers about well-being and public policy. His research findings on the science of happiness are regularly discussed in the press, including appearances on the Financial Times, the Economist, Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and the Guardian. He has also given over fifty radio interviews and has appeared on several TV programmes to discuss findings on his happiness research.

His main areas of expertise are: The economics of happiness and its implications on public policy; Well-being in the workplace; and Behavioural economics and judgment and decision making related to well-being.

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Professor Paul Dolan

Paul Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science in the Department of Social Policy at LSE. He is an internationally renowned expert on happiness, behaviour and public policy.

There are three main themes to his work. The first focuses on developing measures of happiness and subjective well-being that can be used in policy. The second considers ways in which the lessons from the behavioural sciences can be used to understand and change individual behaviour, and to add to the evidence base in this regard. The third theme uses lab and field experiments to address major challenges, such as the impact of interventions on people’s lives and on their behaviour.

Amongst other professional activities, he is co-director of the Centre for the Study of Incentives in Health, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences Panel on measuring wellbeing, a member of the National Wellbeing Advisory Forum for the Office for National Statistics in the UK, a member of the Cognitive and Behavioural Sciences Panel of the World Economic Forum, an expert advisor to Ofgem, and is Chief Academic Advisor to the UK Government on economic appraisal. He was seconded into the Behavioural Insights Team in 2010 to help embed the 'mindspace way' into policymaking. He has worked with many clients on behaviour change, including Aviva, ABN-AMRO, Money Advice Service, Nestle and Shell.

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Professor Ruut Veenhoven

Ruut Veenhoven (born 1942) studied sociology and is also accredited in social psychology and social-sexuology. He is emeritus-professor of 'social conditions for human happiness' at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and extra-ordinary professor at North-West University in South Africa.

Veenhoven's current research is on subjective quality of life. Major publications are: 'Conditions of happiness' (1984), 'Happiness in nations' (1993), 'The four qualities of life' (2000) and 'Greater happiness for a greater number: Is that possible and desirable?' (2010). Veenhoven also published on abortion, love, marriage and parenthood.

Veenhoven is director of the World Database of Happiness and founding editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies

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