PreprintPDF Available

Emergence and Development of the Quality-of-Life Concept in Germany in the 1960s to 1980s – Private Wealth and Public Poverty.

Authors:
  • Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt / Celovec
Preprints and early-stage research may not have been peer reviewed yet.

Abstract

The question of what constitutes a good life has long preoccupied people. The question of what responsibility the state has in this regard is not new either, as e.g. the discourse on bliss (“Glückseeligkeit”) after 1750 shows. With the term “base of life” (“Lebensboden”), Otto Neurath (1981 [1931]) addresses the biological foundations of existence. Nevertheless, the term quality of life, beyond an early, medical eugenics discourse (cf. Kovács 2021), and a use by Pigou (1924, p. 14), who already used the term to distinguish “non-economic” from “economic welfare” (see also Knecht 2010), only became popular long after the Second World War. In his work “The affluent society” (1958), the American economist John Kenneth Galbraith analysed a prevailing disproportion between private wealth and public poverty in the USA, which was suboptimal for citizens and society. Galbraith used the term quality of life in this sense in an article in July 1964 (Galbraith 1964), even before Lyndon B. Johnson, for whom Galbraith had worked as a consultant, used it in the election campaign on the oc-casion of his nomination as a presidential candidate in August 1964 (cf. Knecht 2010, p. 17 f.) ...
– 1 –
Emergence and Development of the Quality-of-Life Concept in Germany in the
1960s to 1980sPrivate Wealth and Public Poverty
Alban Knecht, January 2022
Quality of LifeHistory of a Concept
The question of what constitutes a good life has
long preoccupied people (cf. Land / Michalos /
Sirgy 2012). The question of what responsibility
the state has in this regard is not new either, as
e.g. the discourse on bliss (“Glückseeligkeit”) after
1750 shows (cf. Knecht 2020, chap. 6.1.2.). With
the term base of life (“Lebensboden), Otto
Neurath (1981 [1931]) addresses the biological
foundations of existence. Nevertheless, the term
quality of life, beyond an early, medical eugenics
discourse (cf. Kovács 2021), and a use by Pigou
(1924, p. 14), who already used the term to distin-
guish non-economicfrom economic welfare
(see also Knecht 2010), only became popular long
after the Second World War.
In his work The affluent society (1958), the
American economist John Kenneth Galbraith ana-
lysed a prevailing disproportion between private
wealth and public poverty in the USA, which was
suboptimal for citizens and society. Galbraith used
the term quality of life in this sense in an article in
July 1964 (Galbraith 1964), even before Lyndon B.
Johnson, for whom Galbraith had worked as a con-
sultant, used it in the election campaign on the oc-
casion of his nomination as a presidential candi-
date in August 1964 (cf. Knecht 2010, p. 17 f.):
So let us join together in giving every American
the fullest life which he can hope for. For the ul-
timate test of our civilization, the ultimate test
of our faithfulness to our past, is not in our
goods and is not in our guns. It is in the quality
- the quality of our people's lives and in the men
and women that we produce. This goal can be
ours. We have the resources; we have the
knowledge. But tonight we must seek the cour-
age. (Johnson 1965 [1964], p. 1012)
The criticism of the materialistic concept of wel-
fare was then taken up by other theorists: The
British economist Mishan (1967) saw the eco-
nomic costs arising from strict growth policies in-
creasing disproportionately, although this was ob-
scured by the concept of the gross national prod-
uct. The modern mode of production would bring
with it pollution, noise and rubbish, but also the
loss of old habits, an overburdening by an unman-
ageable supply of goods, an increasing anonymity
of life and the devaluation of learned skills (see
also Zapf 1972, p. 355). Such negative conse-
quences of industrialisation should be corrected
by political interventions in which quality should
be given priority over quantity.
The criticism of that time is also illustrated by
the novel Ecotopia (Callenbach 1975), which tells
the story of a fictional US state. The state splits off
from the rest of America in order to establish a so-
ciety oriented towards ecology and humanity, and
at the same time characterised by supposedly as-
serting post-materialism, aiming at euphoria and
socio-technological hopes that social structures
and processes could be analysed and actively
shaped within the framework of an active soci-
ety(cf. Knecht 2010, 20 f.).
Quality of Life—A Concept Reaches
Germany
In Germany, too, the term was associated with a
critique of the idea that all social problems could
be solved with the help of economic growth (see
also Knecht 2010). The then trade-union IG-Metall
chairman Otto Brenner spread the term in Ger-
many by organising the congress named Task Fu-
ture: Quality of Life(“Aufgabe Zukunft: Qualität
des Lebens“) with over 1,250 participants in April
1972 (Günter 19721974).
In Germany, too, the term was meant to sup-
port the search for solutions to current problems
such as environmental pollution, unemployment,
scarcity of resources, but also the comprehensive
thematization of working conditions, gender ine-
quality, minority problems and democratic defi-
cits. There was also great optimism in Germany
that these problems could be identified, dealt with
and solved in advance within the framework of
state activities and programmes through an active
social policy. A turnaround was to be achieved, be-
yond a view oriented towards economic perfor-
mance, which placed the gross national product
and standard of living at the centre of its
– 2 –
consideration, towards a more comprehensive so-
cial policy (Achinger 1971), which was to be more
humane, democratic and holistic than post-war
policy (cf. Günter 1973; Knecht 2010, p. 145).
Erhard Eppler, the then Federal Minister for
Economic Cooperation and greenmastermind in
the SPD, brought the concept into politics (Eppler
2021 / 2012). Although Willi Brandt had already
proclaimed the blue sky over the Ruhrin the
1961 election campaign, it was not until October
1971 that the federal government adopted its first
environmental programme, which triggered ex-
tensive environmental legislation. At the end of
the first social-liberal legislative period (1969
1972), the election campaign saw the SPD use the
campaign slogan With Willy Brandt for peace, se-
curity and a better quality of life.where the qual-
ity of life concept in its broad understanding also
included the Brandt dictum “Dare more democ-
racy!, as the election programme makes clear:
An 'increase' in production, profit and con-
sumption does not automatically mean an 'in-
crease' in satisfaction, happiness and develop-
ment opportunities for the individual. ... Quality
of life presupposes freedom, including freedom
from fear. It is security through human solidar-
ity, the chance for self-determination and self-
realisation, for co-determination and co-re-
sponsibility, for the meaningful use of one's
own strength in work, for play and living to-
gether, for participation in nature and the val-
ues of culture, the chance to stay healthy or to
become healthy (SPD 1972, p. 27).
In the election, the SPD received the highest ap-
proval ratings in the post-war period. Research
programmes, e.g. on the humanisation of working
life and the citizen-oriented design of the social en-
vironment, were launched (cf. Knecht 2010, p. 19).
The Importance of Social Indicator
Research
The emergence of the quality of life concept was
also linked to social indicator research. Quality of
life as a target variable was to link policy-relevant
macro data with the living conditions of individual
people (Zapf 2021 / 2014). The origins of social in-
dicators lay in spaceflight: Scientists wanted to as-
sess the side-effects of the space programme on
American society and prepared a report for this
purpose entitled Social Indicators(Bauer 1966).
The emerging computer technology was used for
simulations of society as a whole(Zapf 1972, p.
367), which extended far into the future, in the re-
port of the Club of Rome even into the year 2100.
At the international level, the OECD began in 1970
with a Programme of Work on Social Indicators to
orient future growth policy towards the goal of
quality of life. Gradually, social reporting and
household surveys were established worldwide.
Already in the initial phase, two currents
emerged, which were later called the Scandina-
vian / Swedish approachand the American ap-
proach(Noll 2000, p. 8). The Swedish approach
attempts to measure welfare and quality of life
with objective indicators such as unemployment
rate, poverty rate, weekly working hours, years of
schooling completed, infant mortality and suicide
rate. The American approach, on the other hand,
examined subjective processes of perception and
evaluation. It follows Campbell's formulation The
quality of life must be in the eye of the beholder
(Campbell 1972, p. 442) and was operationalised
through surveys on satisfaction, experienced hap-
piness or acceptance of democracy, the realisation
of freedom rights, equal opportunities and distrib-
utive justice. The study of subjective welfare indi-
cators was more in line with the post-materialist
thesis that welfare is increasingly determined by
immaterial components (Inglehart 1977) and is
more strongly expressed by values such as self-de-
velopment, self-actualisation and co-determina-
tion (Hillmann 2001). Critics of the subjective ap-
proach, however, pointed out that aspirations re-
signedly adapt to circumstances (cf. Knecht 2010,
p. 24, Zapf 1984, p. 25). The problematic nature of
both approaches became evident through re-
search into the Easterlin paradox: Easterlin et al.
(1974) showed that increasing wealth over a
longer period of time did not lead to higher levels
of happiness; instead, the position in the social
structure seems to be more important.
In Germany, subjective and objective aspects
were soon combined (e.g. Zapf 1984) and later
supplemented by studies on living situations and
milieus, which emphasised aspects of social ine-
quality more strongly. In the end, social indicators
translated the quality of lifeback into quantities,
which followed the social planning idea that ex-
perts and politicians paternalistically optimise the
well-being of the population with the help of social
indicators. The alternative idea of daring to be
more democratic and to give more importance to
– 3 –
the needs of the citizens by means of citizen par-
ticipation and self-administration has not been
pursued (for the time being).
Claus Offe's Analysis of Conflicts of
Interest in Capitalism
In order to give the above political idea of quality
of life a prominent place, it would have to be given
a voice, formulated as a general interest and result
in a policy that makes its enhancement the basis
of socio-political decisions. For the implementa-
tion of such a policy, the central mechanism would
have to be broken, according to which every per-
son first maximises their income in order to then
usually by way of consumptiontry to optimise
their personal quality of life. Instead, the course
would have to be set in a social process that would
determine in which areas society should grow and
how: A policy of growth in quality of life could then
replace, in statistics as in life, the orientation to-
wards a one-dimensionally understood economic
growth.
In order to get a grip on the problem defined
by Galbraith of the coexistence of widely devel-
oped private wealth and an increased poverty of
the public community and services of general in-
terest (Knecht 2013), far-reaching interventions
would have to steer economic life in a direction in
which not only individually attractive but socially
meaningful goals would be pursued. Democracy
would have to come before the market, so to
speak. This shows the importance of the discus-
sion of democratic mechanisms in the German dis-
course on quality of life and the emphasis on the
fact that only the freedom from fearwould
make it possible to turn onto a path towards a high
quality of life.
As early as in the late 1960s, Claus Offe, within
the framework of a conflict-theoretical theorem
of the selectivity of political institutions(Borchert
/ Lessenich 2006, p. 16), dealt with the question of
how permeable politics is to the needs of citizens
and which importance is attached to which issues
in political processes (Offe 2006 [1972]).
In order for interests and needs to prevail in the
political process, they must be capable of organi-
sation and conflict. Offe found that special inter-
ests of large and relatively homogeneous status
groups such as employees, the middle class or en-
trepreneurs can be asserted much better within
the framework of the activities of associations,
trade unions and NGOs than widespread but dif-
fuse needs. Especially general needs in the areas
of housing, health, transport, education, legal or-
der or leisure behaviour, which concern the phys-
ical, moral and aesthetic conditions of social coex-
istence outside the sphere of the market and dis-
tribution, are much more difficult to organise, alt-
hough they are of great importance in (everyday)
life. Such interests are often represented by exist-
ing organisations within the framework of their
own economic, professional or occupational inter-
ests and are sometimes instrumentalised (cf. Offe
2006 [1972], p. 34), for example in the health sys-
tem. Offe went on to say that interests must not
only be organisable, but also capable of conflict.
This capacity for conflict, in turn, is based on the
ability of an organisation [...] to collectively refuse
services, e.g. within the framework of strikes.
Needs that are on the margins or outside the per-
formance utilisation process and whose sanction-
ing means are of little consequence would have a
reduced assertiveness (ibid., p. 34). Overall, ac-
cording to Offe, this constellation means that in-
terests that come from the economic sphere, alt-
hough they are hardly democratically legiti-
misedamong other things through organised
lobbyinghave a higher assertiveness than the in-
terests of citizens. The fact that, for example, en-
vironmental issues repeatedly lead to forms of
protest, but change little in the overall context of
a production and consumption system that is
harmful to the environment, may be related to
this.
According to Offe, the organisation of the po-
litical system entails further problems: elections
do not determine a specific way of dealing with
special issues, projects or areas of action, but le-
gitimise parties for legislation and government for
the period for which they were elected. Within the
resulting freedom of action, politicians are freed
from the compulsion to organise majorities. The
fact that parties represent relatively unspecific in-
terests in order to remain attractive to a broad
electorate leads to a certain selection of interests
(ibid., p. 32). The lowest common denominator
required by electoral strategy ... lies at the observ-
able level (by public opinion research) of privat-
ised values, group-specific subsidy and compensa-
tion claims and traditionalist resentments(ibid.,
p. 32). Furthermore, coalition pressure, electoral
tactics and the government's great influence on
parliaments (ibid., p. 36 f.) lead to a prioritisation
– 4 –
of politically explosive and urgent issues in politi-
cal processes over those that also raise problems
but are less acute and visible (ibid., p. 45). The con-
sequence of these mechanisms or this filtering
system” (ibid., p. 38) ... is that democratic control
by citizens does not necessarily lead to a policy
that is more oriented towards quality of life, even
if everyone wanted that.
The Showdown of the Quality-of-life
Policy
The hopes associated with the idea of quality
of life for a reassessment of the importance of the
economy and economic growth and a greater fo-
cus on people's needs lasted only for a short time.
The oil crisis in 1973 led to a worldwide reces-
sion and lower economic growth. Unemployment
and the new social question (Geißler 1976)
quickly replaced alternative ideas of growth and
the idea of socially producing quality of life
(Schmidt 2005, p. 76 and 96). Economic growth re-
turned to centre stage as a universal problem as
well as a means of solving problems. For Germany,
Erhard Eppler sees this in the transition from the
Willy Brandt government to the Helmut Schmidt
government, who as an economist had responded
to rising unemployment 'in a Keynesian way', i.e.
by means of an economic stimulus programme
(Eppler 2021 / 2012).
The issues neglected by the established parties
in Germany after 1975 were soon taken up by the
new social movements and citizens' initiatives,
from which the Green Party emerged in the early
1980s. The founding member of the Greens, Petra
Kelly, proclaimed in her book Um Hoffnung
kämpfen (Fighting for Hope) that Green politics
had to be social, ecological, grassroots demo-
cratic and pacifist(Kelly 1983, p. 31) and that the
relationship between economy and people
had to be communicated in a changed way:
Somewhere we have to ... make it clear that first
comes people and then comes the economy
(ibid., 27). There should be an increase in the
quality of life in harmony with the need for cyclical
renewal and the preservation of nature(ibid.,
25). So, while the SPD had turned away from the
idea of quality of life, the Greens were now trying
to occupy this position.
At the same time, the theoretical concept of
quality of life in science was emptied of its uto-
pian, socio-political content and increasingly
individualised and depoliticised (cf. Zapf 2000, p.
3). From the mid-1980s, the term gradually ap-
peared in titles of studies in urban and regional
planning, geography, medicine, and later also in ti-
tles of books on sport, wellness and life counsel-
ling (cf. Knecht 2010, 28; 2020).
The conditions analysed by Offe have become
more acute as a result of the implementation of
market-shaped governance strategies, increasing
international competition and the enforcement of
a neoliberal political style in Germany: Condition-
alization of social benefits, activation policies, pre-
carization of working conditions, higher demands
on workers and the fear of losing one's job and be-
ing pushed to the margins of society tend to stand
in the way of an individual and societal orientation
towards quality of life and sustainability, forcing
each individual even more into an economic sys-
tem that achieves only very selective improve-
ments in quality of life, but increasingly under-
mines the ecological foundations of life. The still
high productivity gains flow into more and more
consumption, not into a higher quality of life,
wherebya point underestimated by Offethe
profit interests of companies partly overlap with
the consumption and income interests of citizens.
Even beyond the labour market, the changes
are pointing in a different direction: the belief that
the world could be controlled and planned
through a forward-looking active (social) policy
was increasingly lost as a result of the oil crisis,
Chernobyl, forest dieback and high unemploy-
ment in the 1980s, and later through the climate
crisis, the dotcom bubble in 2000 and the real es-
tate and financial crisis in 2007.
The improvements achieved with regard to
partial aspects (e.g. containment of acid rain and
improvement of air quality in cities) have been
counteracted by newly emerging problems: For
example, the reduction of individual transport in
city centres is being challenged by a huge increase
in total (individual) transport, larger vehicle mod-
els and system-preserving measures such as scrap-
page schemes. Higher energy efficiency and the
abandonment of nuclear energy in Germany is ac-
companied by a strong increase in consumption.
Dissatisfaction with increasingly precarious living
conditions and the political system seems to be
less and less absorbed by it and is expressed in the
rise of extremist attitudes.
The ongoing discussion on quality of life shows
that securing the long-term satisfaction of
– 5 –
people's original basic needs (beyond their market
/ demand power) can only work if democratic
mechanisms are strengthened in such a way that
the satisfaction of these basic needs is given a spe-
cial place and, on this basis, the private as well as
the public economy are each assigned a clearly
defined and regulated area of responsibility. En-
suring the satisfaction of basic needs must also in-
clude the long-term safeguarding of the natural
foundations of life if quality of life is to be secured
in the long term.
Literature
Achinger (1971): Sozialpolitik als Gesellschaftspo-
litik. 2nd ed. Frankfurt / M.: Deutscher Verein
für öffentliche und private Fürsorge (German
Association for Public and Private Welfare).
Bauer, Raymond Augustine (ed.) (1966): Social In-
dicators. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press
Borchert, Jens / Lessenich, Stephan (2006): Lang
leben die »Strukturprobleme«! Einleitung zur
Neuauflage. In: Offe (2006 [1972]): 1122
Callenbach, Ernest (1975): Ecotopia. Berkeley:
Banyan Tree Books
Campbell, Angus (1972): Aspiration, Satisfaction
and Fulfillment. In Campbell, Angus / Con-
verse, Philip E. (1972): The Human Meaning of
Social Change. New York. S. 441466
Easterlin, Richard A. (1974) Does Economic
Growth Improve the Human Lot? In: Nations
and Households in Economic Growth. Essays
in Honor of Moses Abramovitz. pp. 89125.
https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-205050-
3.50008-7 (retrieved: 12.6.2020).
Eppler, Erhard [Knecht, Alban / Catterfeld, Phi-
lipp] (2021 / 2012): "Der Marktradikalismus als
Verheißung ist tot" [Interview of Alban Knecht
and Philipp Catterfeld with Erhard Eppler,
16.4.2012] In: Staats, Martin (Ed.) Lebensqual-
ität. Ein Metathema. Weinheim, München:
Beltz Juventa. pp. 7788
Galbraith, John Kenneth (1958): The Affluent So-
ciety. Boston: Houghton Mifflin / Cambridge:
The Riverside Press
Galbraith, John Kenneth (1964): Economics and
the Quality of Life. In: Science, 145, 10.7., pp.
117123
Friedrichs, Günter (editor) (1972-1974): Aufgabe
Zukunft: Qualität des Lebens. Beiträge zur
vierten internationalen Arbeitstagung der In-
dustriegewerkschaft Metall [Task of the Fu-
ture: Quality of Life. Contributions to the
Fourth International Working Conference of
the Metalworkers' Industrial Union], Oberhau-
sen, 1114 April 1972. 10 volumes. Frankfurt /
M.: Europäische Verlags-Anstalt
Hillmann, Karl-Heinz (2001): Zur Wertewandel-
forschung: Einführung, Übersicht und Aus-
blick. In: Oesterdiekhoff, Georg W. / Jegelka,
Norbert (2001): Werte und Wertewandel in
westlichen Gesellschaften. Opladen: Leske +
Budrich. pp. 15-39
Inglehart, Ronald (1977): The Silent Revolution:
Changing Values and Political Styles Among
Western Publics. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton
University Press
Johnson, Lyndon B. (1965 [1964]): Remarks be-
fore the National Convention upon Accepting
the Nomination. August 27, 1964. In: Public
Papers of the Presidents of the United States:
Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64. Volume II, Entry
541. Washington: Government Printing Office.
pp 10091013
Knecht, Alban (2010): Lebensqualität produz-
ieren. Ressourcentheorie und Machtanalyse
des Wohlfahrtsstaats. Wiesbaden: VS
Knecht, Alban (2013): Daseinsvorsorge als ge-
meinschaftliche Aufgabe. In: Armutskonferenz
(ed.): Was allen gehört. CommonsNeue Per-
spektiven in der Armutsbekämpfung. Vienna:
ÖGB-Verlag. pp. 6172. Online:
http://www.albanknecht.de/publikationen/
buch_was-allen-gehoert_web.pdf (retrieved:
19.6.2021).
Knecht, Alban (2021): Literaturliste zum Thema
Lebensqualität. http://www.albanknecht.de/
materialien/LitLebensqualitaet.pdf (retrieved:
12.6.2021)
Kovács, László (2021): Historische Entwicklung
des Lebensqualitätsbegriffes in der 1. Hälfte
des 20. Jh.die Vor- und Frühgeschichte eines
flexiblen Wertbegriffs. In: Staats, Martin (ed.)
Lebensqualität. Ein Metathema. Weinheim,
München: Beltz Juventa. pp. 3139
Land, Kenneth C. / Michalo, Alex, C. / Sirgy, M.
Joseph (eds.) (2012): Handbook of Social Indi-
cators and Quality of Life Research. Dordrecht,
Heidelberg, London et al.: Springer
Mishan, Edward J. (1967): The costs of economic
– 6 –
growth. London: Staples Press and New York,
Washington: Frederick A. Praeger
Neurath, Otto (1981 [1931]): Empirische Soziolo-
gie. In: Neurath, Otto: Gesammelte philoso-
phische und methodologische Schriften. Vol.
1. Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky. pp. 423
527 (First published: Frank, Philipp / Schlick,
Moritz (eds.) (1931): Schriften zur wissen-
schaftlichen Weltauffassung. Vol. 5. Julius
Springer: Vienna)
Noll, Heinz-Herbert (2000): Konzepte der Wohl-
fahrtsentwicklung: Lebensqualität und “neue”
Wohlfahrtskonzepte. Reihe des Wissenschaft-
szentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung. Quer-
schnittsgruppe Arbeit und Ökologie. Paper No.
00-505. Berlin
Offe, Claus (2006): Strukturprobleme des kapita-
listischen Staates. New edition (1st ed.: 1972).
Frankfurt / M.: Suhrkamp
Pigou, Arthur Cecil (1924): The economics of Wel-
fare. London: Macmillan and Co.
Schmidt, Manfred G. (2005): Sozialpolitik in
Deutschland. Historische Entwicklung und in-
ternationaler Vergleich. 3rd ed. Wiesbaden: VS
SPD (1972): Wahlprogramm der SPD. Mit Willy
Brandt für Frieden, Sicherheit und eine bes-
sere Qualität des Lebens. [election pro-
gramme of the SPD. With Willy Brandt for
peace, security and a better quality of life]
Dortmund, 13 October 1972
Zapf, Wolfgang [Knecht, Alban] (2021 / 2014): "In
Deutschland lag es ganz plötzlich im Zeitgeist"
[Interview of Alban Knecht with Wolfgang
Zapf, Berlin, 27.3.2014] In: Staats, Martin (Ed.)
Lebensqualität. Ein Metathema. Weinheim,
München: Beltz Juventa. pp. 7276
Zapf, Wolfgang (1984): Individuelle Wohlfahrt:
Lebensbedingungen und wahrgenommene
Lebensqualität. [Individual Welfare: Living
Conditions and Perceived Quality of Life] In:
Glatzer, Wolfgang / Zapf, Wolfgang: Lebens-
qualität in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
Frankfurt / M., New York: Campus. pp. 1326
Zapf, Wolfgang (1972): Zur Messung der Lebens-
qualität. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 1, I. 4, S.
353376
This paper is based on the German article Entstehung und Entwicklung des Lebensqualitäts-Konzeptes in den 60er- bis
80er-Jahren Privater Reichtum und öffentliche Armut, published in: Staats, Martin (ed.): Lebensqualität. Ein Me-
tathema. Weinheim, Basel: Beltz Juventa. pp. 4049
About the Author
Dr. Alban Knecht conducts research on poverty, social inequality and social policy; he is a
member of the scientific advisory board of the Austrian Poverty Conference and a member of
the advisory board of the Social Inequality Section of ÖGS. He lives in Vienna, Klagenfurt, and
Munich. www.albanknecht.de
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Publisher Summary This chapter discusses the association of income and happiness. The basic data consist of statements by individuals on their subjective happiness, as reported in thirty surveys from 1946 through 1970, covering nineteen countries, including eleven in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Within countries, there is a noticeable positive association between income and happiness—in every single survey, those in the highest status group were happier, on the average, than those in the lowest status group. However, whether any such positive association exists among countries at a given time is uncertain. Certainly, the happiness differences between rich and poor countries that one might expect on the basis of the within-country differences by economic status are not borne out by the international data. Similarly, in the one national time series studied, for the United States since 1946, higher income was not systematically accompanied by greater happiness. As for why national comparisons among countries and over time show an association between income and happiness that is so much weaker than, if not inconsistent with, that shown by within-country comparisons, a Duesenberry-type model, involving relative status considerations as an important determinant of happiness, is suggested.
Aspiration, Satisfaction and Fulfillment
  • Ernest Callenbach
Callenbach, Ernest (1975): Ecotopia. Berkeley: Banyan Tree Books Campbell, Angus (1972): Aspiration, Satisfaction and Fulfillment. In Campbell, Angus / Converse, Philip E. (1972): The Human Meaning of Social Change. New York. S. 441-466
  • John Galbraith
  • Kenneth
Galbraith, John Kenneth (1958): The Affluent Society. Boston: Houghton Mifflin / Cambridge: The Riverside Press Galbraith, John Kenneth (1964): Economics and the Quality of Life. In: Science, 145, 10.7., pp. 117-123
Daseinsvorsorge als gemeinschaftliche Aufgabe
  • Alban Knecht
Knecht, Alban (2010): Lebensqualität produzieren. Ressourcentheorie und Machtanalyse des Wohlfahrtsstaats. Wiesbaden: VS Knecht, Alban (2013): Daseinsvorsorge als gemeinschaftliche Aufgabe. In: Armutskonferenz (ed.): Was allen gehört. Commons-Neue Perspektiven in der Armutsbekämpfung. Vienna: ÖGB-Verlag. pp. 61-72. Online: http://www.albanknecht.de/publikationen/ buch_was-allen-gehoert_web.pdf (retrieved: 19.6.2021).
Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky
  • Kenneth C Land
  • Alex Michalo
  • C Heidelberg
Land, Kenneth C. / Michalo, Alex, C. / Sirgy, M. Joseph (eds.) (2012): Handbook of Social Indicators and Quality of Life Research. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London et al.: Springer Mishan, Edward J. (1967): The costs of economic growth. London: Staples Press and New York, Washington: Frederick A. Praeger Neurath, Otto (1981 [1931]): Empirische Soziologie. In: Neurath, Otto: Gesammelte philosophische und methodologische Schriften. Vol. 1. Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky. pp. 423-527 (First published: Frank, Philipp / Schlick, Moritz (eds.) (1931): Schriften zur wissenschaftlichen Weltauffassung. Vol. 5. Julius Springer: Vienna)
Mit Willy Brandt für Frieden, Sicherheit und eine bessere Qualität des Lebens. [election programme of the SPD. With Willy Brandt for peace
  • Manfred G Schmidt
Schmidt, Manfred G. (2005): Sozialpolitik in Deutschland. Historische Entwicklung und internationaler Vergleich. 3 rd ed. Wiesbaden: VS SPD (1972): Wahlprogramm der SPD. Mit Willy Brandt für Frieden, Sicherheit und eine bessere Qualität des Lebens. [election programme of the SPD. With Willy Brandt for peace, security and a better quality of life] Dortmund, 13 October 1972
In Deutschland lag es ganz plötzlich im Zeitgeist
  • Wolfgang Zapf
Zapf, Wolfgang [Knecht, Alban] (2021 / 2014): "In Deutschland lag es ganz plötzlich im Zeitgeist" [Interview of Alban Knecht with Wolfgang Zapf, Berlin, 27.3.2014] In: Staats, Martin (Ed.) Lebensqualität. Ein Metathema. Weinheim, München: Beltz Juventa. pp. 72-76