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Wellbeing Policy

One of the central aims of our research is that government policy should increasingly focus on wellbeing. The debate over whether or not happiness is a proper objective for society is a basic philosophical issue. Richard Layard's 2020 book Can We Be Happier? sets out the evidence for not only why but how we can create a happier society. The modern science of happiness enables us to measure people's quality of life in meaningful ways - reported happiness is well-correlated with objective measurements in the brain and with the kinds of factors, like unemployment, which we would expect to matter. The aim of such measurements is to provide a fuller picture of how society is doing by supplementing existing economic, social and environmental measures.

Much of our work has focused on this aim, together with issues regarding its implementation, in particular, the measurement of wellbeing. Work that is focused on policies for mental health is summarised in the Mental Health section.

Wellbeing Policy publications

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