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photo: Calvo Dr Esteban Calvo
Associate Professor of Public Policy at Universidad Diego Portales

Closing the border can do more harm than good to national wellbeing.

April 2017
Wellbeing of EU citizens increases on average with free movement within the EU.Response
Freedom to move around the EU is an opportunity for well-being, but whether or not well-being is increased remains uncertain. The reasons behind the move are probably an important factor shaping well-being outcomes. Agree

The UK closing its borders for EU nationals who want to work in the UK after Brexit would harm both UK wellbeing and that of the rest of the EU.Response
Social boundaries, in this case closing country borders, rarely have positive effects when they are built on a strong divide between us and them. Agree strongly

Organisational structures on workers' wellbeing

January 2017
Employees in more hierarchical organisations have higher levels of wellbeing than those of flatter organisations.Response
Organizational structure is unlikely to be as decisive to the subjective well-being of employees as the quality of human relations and job characteristics within the organization.Disagree

Tilting the tax and subsidy mix in favour of more hierarchical organisations (in a revenue neutral manner) would probably improve the wellbeing of employees.Response
IfIf improving subjective well-being were so mechanical as tilting the tax and subsidy mix in favor of more hierarchical organizations (in a revenue neutral manner), we would all be very happy.Disagree

Wellbeing and Public Holidays

December 2016
Do you think that populations on average have higher wellbeing during major festive periods like Christmas?Response
Major festive periods are likely to influence well-being, as they interrupt our daily routines and create a ritual opportunity to enjoy life with our loved ones. However, festivities also entail enormous social pressures that can damage well-being for some. Because changes in well-being could go in opposite directions, I wouldn't expect to see an average increase in well-being for the population.Disagree

Do you think on balance that average wellbeing would rise if there were more mandatory public holidays in your country?Response
Overworking is a common issue in contemporary societies. Mandatory public holidays set aside time for leisure and social activities. Provided that these activities are of good quality, I would expect to observe increases in well-being, at least during or around the holiday. For example, I would expect an increase in well-being during the holiday for people having positive interactions with others in the park, but I wouldn't expect the same for someone who stays alone and binge-watches TV throughout the weekend.Agree