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photo: Frey Professor Bruno Frey
Visiting Professor of Economics and Wellbeing at the University of Basel, Switzerland

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
Opens new opportunities and increases autonomy, and of course raises the per capita income.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
Free trade in persons offers new opportunities for everyone and therewith raises well-being. Agree

Understanding the effect of policy on national wellbeing

March 2017
Despite dozens of years of research, we still know precious little about what policies increase national wellbeing.Response
Happiness research is incompletely connected with Political Economy. Agree

In order to find out what raises national wellbeing, we need to have thousands of randomised controlled trials in all major areas of national policy.Response
It would take far too long for being useful for policy purposes. Disagree

Wellbeing Effects of Anonymous Donation of Eggs and Sperm

February 2017
Donating gametes (eggs, sperm) via clinics as anonymous donors is one of the highest return-to-effort things individuals can do to increase overall wellbeing.Response
There are so many more important things in society such as war or migration.Disagree strongly

The right of a child to know who their donor was when they turn 18 outweighs (in an overall wellbeing sense) the possibility that this right-to-know leads to a shortage of donors and reduces the number of donor-conceived children.Response
The donors want to escape any hassle that might occur so many years after the initial eventAgree

Organisational structures on workers' wellbeing

January 2017
Employees in more hierarchical organisations have higher levels of wellbeing than those of flatter organisations.Response
Together with Matthias Benz, I have empirically shown that self-employed people are happier than those working as employees in organizations. This can be generalized because in large organizations employees typically have less autonomy than in flatter organizations. It can therefore be concluded that they enjoy cet. par. higher life satisfaction. Disagree strongly

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
Same as previous comment. Disagree strongly

Wellbeing and Public Holidays

December 2016
Do you think that populations on average have higher wellbeing during major festive periods like Christmas?Response
Christmas and other festive periods provide a change from normal activities. Most people take the opportunity to meet relatives and friends. It is known from happiness research that having more intensive personal contacts raises life satisfaction. Agree

Do you think on balance that average wellbeing would rise if there were more mandatory public holidays in your country?Response
In Europe and North America employees spend too much time at work. Reducing work time and increasing leisure time raises life satisfaction; individuals may pursue activities for which they otherwise have too little time, including being with their families and friends.Agree