Melios, George

George Melios
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Determinants of subjective well being in Europe during the era of austerity
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Nigel Oleary
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Evolution theory suggests that humans evolved over time to survive and reproduced, not to be happy, however, happiness is considered nowadays to be the most important goal in people’s lives. It is only after the agricultural revolution, when ancient civilizations started to show signs of a progressive social transformation to a more human flourishing centered society. Dating back to the Greek political philosopher Aristotle, references of the concept of happiness, either personal or civil, are traced in numerous philosophical works as those of Bentham, Kant and others. The empirical study of happiness though has been mostly the province of psychology, sociology and political science. The early contribution of Easterlin (1974) linked psychological research on happiness to economics. Since then empirical works have been published on the determinants of happiness. These studies through different measures and methodologies have the same broad goal, to identify what makes people experience a specific level of satisfaction, in other words what determines happiness. The main aim of my research is to determine the role of three key determinants of happiness in European Union during the era of austerity. The determinants under investigation are political institutions and corruption, unemployment benefits and base salary (income).