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The determinants of individual happiness in Kazakhstan

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  • Kalyuzhnova, Yelena
  • Kambhampati, Uma

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of social, economic and institutional changes on individual perceptions of happiness in Kazakhstan. We use household level data for Kazakhstan for 3 years--1996 (in the initial years of transition), 2001 (as it became a fully fledged transition economy) and 2006 (an emerging economy with a market system in many sectors including banking and finance). Data across these years allow us to consider how the transition as well as personal, household and regional factors have impacted on individual happiness. We find that the size of dwelling had a significant impact in all 3 years and that ethnic Kazakhs were happier than Russians as transition matured. We also find that living in regions of high unemployment, contrary to expectations, did not increase the unhappiness of individuals. This is because living in regions with high unemployment meant that the unemployed did not feel too marginalised from society. At the same time, it allowed the employed to feel particularly fortunate.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Systems.

Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 285-299

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:32:y:2008:i:3:p:285-299

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References

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  1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  2. Ruut Veenhoven, 1991. "Is happiness relative?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, February.
  3. Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
  4. Ceema Namazie & Peter Sanfey, 1998. "Happiness in transition: the case of Kyrgyzstan," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6591, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Bruce Headey & Ruud Muffels & Mark Wooden, 2004. "Money Doesn't Buy Happiness … or Does It? A Reconsideration Based on the Combined Effects of Wealth, Income and Consumption," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Yelena Kalyuzhnova & Maria Vagliasindi & Mark Casson, 2003. "Recent Developments in the Short-term Employment in Kazakhstani Firms," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 466-492, December.
  7. Peter Sanfey & Utku Teksoz, 2005. "Does transition make you happy?," Working Papers 91, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  8. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  9. Zavisca, Jane & Hout, Michael, 2005. "Does Money Buy Happiness in Unhappy Russia?," Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies, Working Paper Series qt4j19w9f4, Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, UC Berkeley.
  10. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
  11. Shields, Michael & Paul Frijters & John P Haisken-DeNew, 2003. "The Value of Reunification in Germany: An Analysis of Changes in Life Satisfaction," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 186, Royal Economic Society.
  12. Bruce Headey & Derek Headey, 2003. "German Reunification: Welfare Gains and Losses East and West," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 107-138, October.
  13. Eggers, Andrew & Gaddy, Clifford & Graham, Carol, 2006. "Well-being and unemployment in Russia in the 1990s: Can society's suffering be individuals' solace?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 209-242, April.
  14. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  15. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
  16. Peiro, Amado, 2006. "Happiness, satisfaction and socio-economic conditions: Some international evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 348-365, April.
  17. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  18. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  19. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Olga Popova, 2010. "Can Religion Insure against Aggregate Shocks to Happiness? The Case of Transition Countries," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp425, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Ekaterina Selezneva, 2010. "Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being : Income, work, family," Working Papers 279, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  3. Tilman Brück & Damir Esenaliev & Antje Kroeger & Alma Kudebayeva & Bakhrom Mirkasimov & Susan Steiner, 2012. "Household Survey Data for Research on Well-Being and Behavior in Central Asia," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1257, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Gerhard Toews, 2013. "Inflated Expectations and Natural Resource Booms: Evidence from Kazakhstan," OxCarre Working Papers 109, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

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