From political speeches to glowing prime-time television series, the idea that our "happiness" can be enhanced using public policy is more fashionable than ever.
But is it really plausible and useful to measure human well-being using numbers?
Professors Paul Ormerod and Richard Layard have been arguing, through the pages of Prospect magazine, about the extent to which governments can monitor and enhance our happiness.
We bring them together in the studio to debate the issues with presenter Tim Harford.
Other interviewees include:
Neuropsychologist Professor Angela Clow at the University of Westminster
Professor Paul Dolan of Imperial College Business School and a member of the Whitehall Wellbeing Working Group, part of a government project aimed at increasing our happiness
The Christian Union and the Atheist Society at Imperial College London.
Presenter: Tim Harford
Producer: Mukul Devichand
BBC Radio 4's More or Less was broadcast on Monday, 12 November, 2007 at 1630 GMT.
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