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Macroeconomics and life satisfaction: Revisiting the "misery index"


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Using data from surveys of life satisfaction, evidence has been presented that European citizens’ subjective well-being is inversely related to inflation and unemployment. Motivated by the “Barro Misery Index”, this paper reconsiders the relationship between macroeconomics and subjective well-being by including the growth rate and the long-term interest rate as additional variables in life satisfaction regressions. The paper finds that people care about growth and employment on the one hand and stability on the other, where stability may alternatively be captured by the inflation rate or the long-term interest rate. Stability, measured in whichever of these ways, does not seem to be less important to European citizens than growth and employment.

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Article provided by Universidad del CEMA in its journal Journal of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): X (2007)
Issue (Month): (November)
Pages: 237-251

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Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:10:y:2007:n:2:p:237-251

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Keywords: misery index; social welfare function; inflation; unemployment; subjective wellbeing; life satisfaction;

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Cited by:
  1. Jorge M. Streb, 2011. "Estabilización económica e incentivos políticos," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo., Universidad del CEMA 461, Universidad del CEMA.
  2. Darren Grant, 2009. "What Makes a Good Economy? An Analysis of Survey Data," Working Papers, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business 0909, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  3. Heinz Welsch & Jan Kühling, 2011. "Comparative Economic Performance and Institutional Change in OECD Countries: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data," Working Papers, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics V-342-11, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2011.
  4. Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming, 2014. "Life Satisfaction in Australia: Evidence from Ten Years of the HILDA Survey," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 691-714, January.
  5. repec:old:wpaper:342 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ewa, Lechman, 2009. "Okun`s and Barro`s Misery Index as an alternative poverty assessment tool. Recent estimations for European countries," MPRA Paper 37493, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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