Life course & Methods

 Latest findings and events

Our latest publication is

The latest findings on wellbeing across the life course were presented at our conference with OECD, LSE and CREMAP in December 2016.

We host a regular seminar series at London School of Economics presenting recent findings from leading academics.

Meet the team

The Cross-cutting Capabilities evidence programme is a consortium of academics, policy makers, and Professor Richard Layardfrom LSE, UCL, Oxford, OECD, and Action for Happiness. This strand of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing is spearheaded by Professor Lord Layard of the Wellbeing Programme at the LSE Centre for Economic Performance. The cross-cutting capabilities evidence programme is focused on gathering and synthesising high-quality evidence on what works in terms of raising wellbeing and leveraging user capacity to effectively integrate wellbeing into policy.

The Cross-cutting Capabilities evidence programme seeks to address questions such as:

  • use of wellbeing as a common currency
  • evaluation of wellbeing evidence
  • time series analysis and wellbeing adaptation
  • developing a life course model for wellbeing

The evidence programme will present a book amounting to a manual for policy-making. This will include sets of coefficients and also guidance on policy-evaluation.

The evidence programme will also lead outreach and capacity-building efforts in terms of organizing one-day courses on wellbeing analysis, workshops on longitudinal studies and evaluation, and provide support and a platform for practitioners and policy-makers to advance their work.

Lead investigator

Richard Layard is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London Schools of Economics, and a life peer in the House of Lords since 2000. He is currently the Wellbeing Programme Director at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.

His work has focused on how to reduce unemployment and inequality and he is one of the first economists to have worked on happiness. His main current interest is how better mental health could improve our social and economic life. His publications include

  • Happiness: Lessons from a New Science
  • Good Childhood Report which emphasised the importance of early intervention to improve the mental health of children.
  • Thrive: the power of evidence-based psychological therapies with Prof David Clark

Professor Layard chaired the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Health and Wellbeing, which produced a report at Davos in January 2012, “WellBeing and Global Success”. In April 2012, the United Nations held a high-level meeting on what this involves, and Richard co-edited (with Jeff Sachs and John Helliwell) a World Happiness Report. The most recent edition was published in April 2015. Richard Layard has been on the Legatum Commission for Wellbeing Policy chaired by Gus O’Donnell. Its report on wellbeing and public policy was launched in March 2014.


Professor Paul Frijters LSE Professor Alissa Goodman Institute of Education UCL
Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve Oxford University
Professor Emla Fitzsimons Institute of Education UCL
Dr Andrew Clark LSE Professor Martin Knapp LSE
Dr George Ploubidis Institute of Education UCL Professor Nattavudh Powdthavee University of Warwick
Dr Jose-Luis Fernandez LSE  Mr Conal Smith OECD

Project Partners

Dr Mark Williamson, Action for Happiness

Professor David Clark, University of Oxford

Ms Lucy Bailey, How to Thrive

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