In an important report from the Institute of Economic Affairs* by economists Helen Johns** and Paul Ormerod*** the ideas and evidence that underlie modern politicians obsession with measuring and improving our wellbeing are comprehensively destroyed. The authors expose the myths surrounding so-called happiness economics.
Academics such as Richard Layard and senior politicians of all parties have recently proposed that governments should focus more on increasing citizens happiness or wellbeing and less on trying to maximise national income. The Department of Work and Pensions, for example, measures the success of its national strategy for an ageing society against 33 wellbeing indicators. David Camer