Ghent University Chair Supported by NN Insurance Belgium Life Insurers

Health is an important factor in our chances of happiness. Healthy people are, generally, also happier. Yet health and happiness are also linked to other factors such as income, our immediate environment, relationships... And, moreover, the relations between all these different factors are complex. One’s income will thus affect both one’s health and happiness, at least to some extent. Income also determines one’s living environment and relations.


Further research on the topic “Perspectives for a healthy and happy life”.

The first phase of this chair (starting from 2017) incorporated literature research and a survey of a representative sample of the Belgian population in order to gain insights into the aforementioned relations.

The aim of this was to explicitly consider perspectives in the context of the future with new technologies, including the digital world and medicine.

Particular attention was also paid to the evolution of social inequality, and the extent to which human rights are respected (including everyone’s right to good healthcare). How can we ensure that we all have better opportunities in the future – not only those of us who already have a better chance of a happy and healthy life, but also people who currently have far fewer opportunities?

The first phase of research was concluded in March 2019 with a presentation of the most important findings and recommendations for society, aimed at schools, employers, the government, and individual citizens themselves.

The project extension now focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and it will also further investigate links between biological age and happiness, and social values.

Once again, this will be done in conjunction with a survey of the general population.


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Prof. Lieven AnnemansSupervisor

Prof. Lieven Annemans is Professor of Health Economics in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Ghent University. 

For 8 years he was also chair of the Vlaamse Gezondheidsraad (Flemish health council). He is also a former member of the cabinet (2000-2003) of then minister Frank Vandenbroucke. 

Lieven Annemans held the Francqui Chair in 2013 and in 2017.

He is the author of books Health economics for non economists (2008), De prijs van uw gezondheid – is onze gezondheidszorg in gevaar? (2014) and Je geld of je leven in de gezondheidszorg (2016).

In addition he is also author of more than 300 international academic publications related to health economics.