Professor Richard Layard Professor of Economics, London School of Economics
Understanding the effect of policy on national wellbeing
Despite dozens of years of research, we still know precious little about what policies increase national wellbeing.
From clinical trials and field application, we know a great deal about how to treat depression and anxiety disorders (the biggest single cause of misery in rich countries). We know much less about how specific interventions could prevent these conditions. From naturalistic evidence (across countries, workplaces and individuals) we know a huge amount about the general condition conducive to high wellbeing but we lack good RCT evidence on the effects of specific changes.
In order to find out what raises national wellbeing, we need to have thousands of randomised controlled trials in all major areas of national policy.
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