From Welfare to Wellbeing State?


3pm CET





What produces a happy society and a happy life? More than 15 years ago, leading economist Richard Layard set a milestone with his book ‘Happiness’. Now he has followed up with a new major publication. In ‘Wellbeing: Science and Policy’ Layard and his co-author update the data on how to measure happiness. They propose how policymakers should spend their money if they want to increase wellbeing and why enhancing wellbeing outperforms the traditional cost-benefit focus of public policy.


We invited Lord Richard Layard to discuss his insights at our next New Economy Short Cut with Alessio Terzi from the EU Commission’s economic unit and Nicola Brandt from OECD Berlin.

Lord Richard Layard

is a leading British economist, who thinks society’s goal should be the wellbeing of the people. His landmark book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science has influenced policymakers worldwide. He is cofounder of Action for Happiness, of the World Happiness Report and of the World Wellbeing Movement. In 2020, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council.

Alessio Terzi

is the author of Growth for Good (Harvard University Press, 2022). He is also an Economist at DG ECFIN of the European Commission, and an Adjunct Professor at Sciences Po and at HEC Paris. Prior to this, he was Affiliate Fellow at Bruegel and Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Nicola Brandt

has headed the OECD Berlin Centre since October 2019. A PhD in economics, she has spent many years advising governments on the design of their economic and fiscal policies. She is co-author of the Forum New Economy Working Paper 'Prosperity at the heart of policy: lessons from national initiatives around the OECD'.