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 Well-Being. Since 2000 he has been a member of the House of Lords.

He has written widely on unemployment, inflation, education, inequality and post-Communist reform. He was an early advocate of the welfare-to-work approach to unemployment, and co-authored the influential book Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market (OUP 1991).

From 1997-2001 he helped implement these policies as a consultant to the Labour government. He was also involved in the educational policy development of post-16 year olds.

His current research focus is on happiness, aiming to achieve a unified understanding of the insights of economics, psychology, neuroscience and philosophy. He also have strong interests in unemployment and educational policy.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in January 2004.
In 2008 he received the IZA Prize in Labor Economics jointly with Stephen Nickell.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 9224

Studies of deprivation usually ignore mental illness. This paper uses household panel data from the USA, Australia, Britain and Germany to broaden the analysis. We ask first how many of those in the lowest levels of life-satisfaction suffer from unemployment, poverty, physical ill health, and mental illness. The largest proportion...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7682
published in: Economic Journal, 2014, 124 (580), F720- F738

If policy-makers care about well-being, they need a recursive model of how adult life-satisfaction is predicted by childhood influences, acting both directly and (indirectly) through adult circumstances. We estimate such a model using the British Cohort Study (1970). The most powerful childhood predictor of adult life-satisfaction is the child's emotional...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7620

This paper is a contribution to the second World Happiness Report. It makes five main points. 1. Mental health is the biggest single predictor of life-satisfaction. This is so in the UK, Germany and Australia even if mental health is included with a six-year lag. It explains more of the...