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Happiness in Transition: The Case of Kyrgyzstan

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  • Ceema Zahra Namazie
  • Peter Sanfey

Abstract

We analyse self-reported measures of satisfaction with life in a transition country, Kyrgyzstan, using 1993 household survey data. We test whether higher levels of satisfaction are associated with greater economic well-being. This hypothesis is strongly supported by the data. Unhappiness is prevalent among older people, the unemployed, and those who are divorced. There appears to be little correlation between happiness and either gender or education level. We find some evidence that income relativities, as measured by perceived position on the wealth ladder, also have a strong effect on life satisfaction.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/darp/darp40.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers with number 40.

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Date of creation: Jul 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stidar:40

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

Related research

Keywords: Happiness; Kyrgyzstan; transition; welfare;

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References

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  1. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  2. Martin Raiser & Peter Sanfey, 1998. "Statistical review," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 6(1), pages 241-247, 05.
  3. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  4. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  5. David G. Blanchflower & Richard Freeman, 1997. "The attitudinal legacy of Communist labor relations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 438-459, April.
  6. Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  8. Ruut Veenhoven, 1996. "Developments in satisfaction-research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-46, January.
  9. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
  10. ED Diener & Carol Diener, 1995. "The wealth of nations revisited: Income and quality of life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 275-286, November.
  11. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A.J., 1997. "A Study of Labour Markets and Youth Unemployment in Eastern Europe," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 499, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. Morawetz, David, 1977. "Income Distribution and Self-Rated Happiness: Some Empirical Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(347), pages 511-22, September.
  13. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  14. Rafal Antczak & Marek Dabrowski, 1994. "Economic Reforms in Kyrgyzstan," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0028, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
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