Richard Layard

  • Current position:
    Director, Wellbeing Programme, Centre for Economic Performance (2003–); Emeritus Professor of Economics, LSE (1999–)
  • Positions/functions as policy advisor:
    Adviser to the English Improving Access to Psychological Therapies program
  • Research interest:
    Wellbeing, labor, unemployment, educational policy, happiness
  • Website:
  • Affiliations:
    LSE, UK, and IZA, Germany
  • Past positions:
    Deputy Director, Higher Education Research Unit, LSE (1964–1974); Head, Centre for Labour Economics, LSE (1974–1990); Director, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE (1990–2003)
  • Qualifications:
    MSc Economics, London School of Economics, 1967
  • Personal statement about IZA World of Labor:
    I am happy to be a part of this innovative project. I hope that policymakers and academics alike will find World of Labor a useful way to quickly learn the latest state of research on a wide range of issues in labor policy
  • Selected publications:
    • Combatting Unemployment, IZA Prize Volume. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011 (with S. Nickell).
    • Happiness—Lessons from a New Science. 2nd edition. London: Penguin, 2011.
    • Thrive: The Power of Evidence-based Psychological Therapies. London: Penguin, 2014 (with D. M. Clark).
  • Articles

The economics of mental health

With modern psychological therapy, mentally ill people can become more productive and more satisfied with life

January 2017

10.15185/izawol.321 321

by Richard Layard Layard, R

In a typical country, one in five people suffers from a mental illness, the great majority from depression or crippling anxiety. Mental illness accounts for half of all illness up to age 45 in rich countries, making it the most prevalent disease among working-age people; it also accounts for close to half of disability benefits in many countries. Mentally ill people are less likely to be employed and, if employed, more likely to be out sick or working below par. If mentally ill people received treatment so that they had the same employment rate as the rest of the population, total employment would be 4% higher, adding many billions to national output.