DOC Research Director at the Investment Migration Forum in Geneva

Professor Vladimir Popov, Research Director in Economics and Political Sciences at the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC), presented his latest paper at an academic workshop as part of the  Investment Migration Council’s Investment Migration Forum.

The Forum is the largest of its kind, and gathered over 300 delegates from more than 45 countries to discuss the latest developments in investment migration. This year´s Forum, which had the theme of “Advancing Residence and Citizenship by Investment”, covered topics from future concepts of residence and citizenship to national policies and transnational regulations.

Professor Popov’s paper “Billionaires, Millionaires, Inequality and Happiness“ explores why income and wealth inequality have a varying impact on happiness in countries with different income levels. It also concludes that there are two “typical” statistical portraits of a happy country. One – the “Scandinavian model” – is a high-income country with low income inequality but relatively high wealth inequality and billionaire concentration. The other – the Latin American or African model – is a lower-income country but with higher levels of income and wealth inequality, especially at the top of the wealth pyramid.

Popov bases this argument on the idea that an increase in inequality at the very top may be more acceptable than an increase in income differentiation among the middle class. A country where 99% of people are having roughly the same – equal – income, whereas 1% are multimillionaires, may be happier than a country where inequality is distributed more evenly.

Popov associates his theory with the concept of the ‘American Dream’ and the idea of happiness within a society whereby citizens can aspire to a wealthier future for themselves and their families.

The full paper can be found on the DOC’s website here.


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