Campus Tilburg University hoogleraren

PhD Defense B.S. Lous MSc

Date: Time: 13:30 Location: Aula

On free markets, income inequality, happiness and trust

Even though on average Western countries are richer than ever before, an undercurrent of widespread discomfort and uncertainty has been revealed in recent years. This has led to renewed critical interest in the foundations and assumptions of the capitalist economic model. This thesis focuses on the role of inequality in the functioning of the economy. Specifically, three relationships are investigated. The first empirical chapter sets the general context, looking at the effect of economic freedom on (country-level) life satisfaction through income inequality. The second research chapter analyzes the effect of income inequality on trust and inequality in life satisfaction. The third and fourth chapters zoom in on the microeconomic level, discussing how national income inequality relates to individual life satisfaction, and to individual inclination to trust other people. In addition, the differences between different income groups are investigated, as well as between other socio-demographically defined groups.

Bjorn Lous (1986) obtained his bachelor degree in International Economics and Finance from Tilburg University in 2008, continuing his Master’s studies at Wageningen University in International Development Studies. After a few years of working on development projects in Israel and South Sudan among other activities, he returned to Tilburg University as PhD candidate in 2014. He has also been involved as a junior researcher in the Moral Markets project, financed by the Templeton Foundation.

  • Location: Cobbenhagen building, Aula (access via Koopmans building)
  • Supervisors: Prof.  J.J. Graafland, Prof. P. Kooreman

Read the press release