How happy are we? Measuring happiness through the ages

daniel-sgroiDaniel Sgroi is Associate Professor of Economics and a theme leader of the ESRC-funded Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at the University of Warwick. He is also lead author of the recent CAGE policy report Understanding Happiness, exploring how we can measure subjective wellbeing in the past using big data.

Today is the United Nations International Day of Happiness, first launched four years ago. It highlights happiness and wellbeing as important goals for developing societies – going beyond a narrow focus on a growing economy. Continue reading

Does drinking make us happy?

Ben Baumberg Geiger is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy University of Kent.

Ahead of the busy festive period where many of us will be enjoying a few alcoholic beverages, Ben writes about his ESRC and MRC-funded study Can alcohol make you happy? A subjective wellbeing approach, which was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine

ben-greiger

There has been an increasing interest in wellbeing among alcohol policy researchers. Recent studies have estimated wellbeing-related impacts such as ‘harms to others’, while the world-leading Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model estimates a 50p minimum price would lead to wellbeing benefits worth more than £2 billion over 10 years.
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Making the world a happier place

Professor Lord Richard Layard directs the Wellbeing Programme at the ESRC Centre for Economic Performance, and has made major contributions on unemployment, inflation, inequality and post-Communist reform. Author of the influential book Happiness, he currently works on how to produce a happier society and advises the UK government on mental health policy.

Professor Lord Richard Layard

Why did you pursue an academic career?

I never meant to. I was teaching in a comprehensive school and going to evening classes at the London School of Economics (LSE). Through the LSE connection I was asked to be the research officer for the Robbins Committee (Committee on Higher Education, 1961), and after that I was offered a research job at LSE. Continue reading