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Clare Hall Ashby Lecture: 'Happiness and Values'

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Excessive individualism helps to explain why happiness has not risen in the last 50 years. If the goal is to out-compete others, it is a zero-sum game, and further increases in happiness require positive-sum games. Fortunately there exist evidence-based ways in which to promote altruism among children and young people. If we are to achieve progress, the education of character should become a central role for schools.

Professor Richard Layard

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

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 co-authored Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market (OUP 1991, 2nd ed 2005) which has influenced policy in many countries. He has chaired the European Commission’s Macroeconomic Policy Group and the UN University’s World Economy Group.

He is currently working on happiness and how to produce a happier society. His book Happiness – Lessons from a New Science was published in March and is appearing in 11 languages.

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