Professor Richard Layard asked this question in his 2006 book Happiness - Lessons from a New
Science. Layard is Director of the Wellbeing Programme at the London School of Economics.
It shows how far the world has come with wellbeing when this question is being asked by someone like
GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was developed in the 1930s to measure economic production. For
decades it was incorrectly used, under the title of ‘living standards’, to also indicate progress of our
wellbeing, when clearly GDP is an objective wellbeing measure.
About 20 years ago recognition of subjective wellbeing started to grow with green shoots. Now it is a rich
field of interest and insight. Academic departments and researchers, private companies and governments
all around the world are investing time and funds into measuring and understanding wellbeing.