Version 3.2

Life satisfaction and socio-economic vulnerability: evidence from the Basic Income experiment in Barcelona

Lessons for degrowth policy

This work focuses on the implications of introducing a variation of a Basic Income for individuals in grim socio-economic conditions in Barcelona (Spain). We explore the happiness and socio-psychological imprint of living in material deprivation in a metropolitan city. Surveying people who joined the two-year Municipal Inclusion Support (MIS) scheme launched by the Municipality of Barcelona, we first identify the major constructs that contribute to recipients’ subjective well-being, paying particular attention to the sense of socio-economic vulnerability. Secondly, we explore the way beneficiaries’ subjective well-being changed over the project duration. Overall, the introduction of the MIS has had a positive effect on the subjective well-being of its recipients over the program duration. We also find that the profound and lasting effect of material and food deprivation, continuous worry about financial situation and extreme financial stress explain changes in subjective well-being better than the actual income level. From the analytical lens of degrowth, the creation and presence of networks for mutual support emerged as an important contributor to life satisfaction in contexts of socio-economic vulnerability. This result stood out for women, who were majority group among the basic income recipients, pointing for high level of female economic vulnerability.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 12:15
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-3
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Alternative economies


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