Until 2003 Richard Layard was the founder-director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. He now heads the Centre's Programme on Well-Being. He has worked on unemployment, inflation, education, inequality, and post-Communist reform. He was an early advocate of the welfare-to-work approach to European unemployment, and with S. Nickell and R. Jackman authored Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market (OUP 1991, 2e 2005). Their ideas have been implemented in many countries including in Britain's New Deal, to which Layard was a consultant. His book Happiness - Lessons from a New Science (2005) appears in 20 languages. Richard Layard was also an active member of The Children's Society Inquiry into The Good Childhood and was co-author of its recent report: A Good Childhood (Penguin, 2009). Layard is a fellow of the British Academy and of the Econometric Society. Since 2000 he has been a member of the House of Lords.
Stephen J. Nickell is Chairman of The Advisory Committee on Civil Costs (MOJ) and a Board Member of the UK Statistics Authority. Previously he has held Economics Professorships at both LSE and Oxford and was President of the Royal Economic Society from 2000 to 2003. He was a member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee from 2000 to 2006. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the British Academy, as well as a foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.