- What is Happiness and are we Getting Happier?
- What Causes Happiness? Rethinking Public Economics
- What would make a happier society?
But there's much more in those lectures which shows that the current focus in politics (be it conservative or liberal) is in the wrong place: the economy does just not matter as much as everybody claims. People matter much more. I will write more on all this later, but let me just give you a start to reading Layard. In the last fifty years, the economy in the US (and many other countries) has grown by a lot, but happiness of the population stagnated, crime increased, mental illness increased, trust among people decreased. And all those changes are not just significant, but by a factor of two each at least! I don't want to describe where this leads us if trends go on like this. There is a way out and Layard describes it well.
PS: As an extra-perk I noticed in the statistics that three out of the five most happy countries in the world (according to scientific measure) are just those three developed countries that are well-known for their high use of cycling as a means of everyday, everybody transport. Namely The Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland! Remember that you don't (just) bike for the environment or your fellow citizens; you bike for your own health and happiness.