An unsettling paradox: over fifty years of marked progress yet we are not any happier…
Why does a leading economist write a book about ‘soft stuff’ such as happiness? Even more puzzling: why does he title the book “Happiness. Lessons from a new science”? Richard Layard is the founder of a relevant economics research center within the London School of Economics, author of several academic books on topics such as unemployment and inequality. This latest effort of his is truly ground braking and starts from a simple observation: “There is a paradox at the heart of our lives. Most people want more income and strive for it. Yet as Western societies have got richer, their people have become not happier. This is no old wives’ tale. It is a fact proven by many pieces of scientific research. As I’ll show, we have good ways to measure how happy people are, and all the evidence says that on average people are no happier today than people were fifty years ago. Yet at the same time average incomes have more than doubled. This paradox is equally true for the United States and Britain and Japan”. Layard in this book tries to go to the roots of this paradox and in the process makes a strong case for learning how to use the ‘science of happiness’ in our daily lives while supporting the argument to raise this science to the level of public political debate and action.
The seven factors that influence happiness
Layard points out seven factors that are key to the perception of happiness. They are Leggi tutto “What is it all about after all? The happiness factor…”