VatterÖffentliche Finanzen und subjektive Lebenszufriedenheit

In recent years, happiness research has become recognised as a branch of economics in its own right. At the same time, the question of what determines a good life has also received greater attention in politics. In this study, Johannes Vatter makes a broad and insightful assessment of research into the economics of life satisfaction. He combines a detailed reappraisal of the subject’s established foundations with comprehensive empirical findings in order to suggest the numerous implications of these elements for tax and welfare policy.

He also re-examines some of the classic questions related to finance: How high are the actual costs of unemployment? Are our taxes and duties too high? If money does not increase satisfaction from a certain amount onwards, does that justify a progressive tax system? Does more redistribution of money lead to more satisfaction in society? What economic effect would high taxes on addictive substances, like alcohol, fats and sugar, have on happiness? The author also assesses Germany’s ‘Hartz’ reforms from the perspective of the economics of life satisfaction. His findings are always detailed, well founded and yet, in many cases, surprising.