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Lost in Transition: Life Satisfaction on the Road to Capitalism

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  • Richard A. Easterlin
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    Abstract

    In the transition from socialism to capitalism in Eastern Europe life satisfaction has followed the V-shaped pattern of GDP but failed to recover commensurately. In general, increased satisfaction with material living levels has occurred at the expense of decreased satisfaction with work, health, and family life. Disparities in life satisfaction have increased markedly with those hardest hit being the less educated and persons over age 30; women and men have suffered about equally. The asymmetric response of life satisfaction to decreases in GDP in transition countries and increases in GDP in non-transition countries is arguably due to loss aversion.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.81744.de/diw_sp0094.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 94.

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    Length: 44 p.
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp94

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    Keywords: Happiness; transition; capitalism; socialism; loss aversion;

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    Cited by:
    1. Irena Grosfeld & Claudia Senik, 2008. "The Emerging Aversion to Inequality: Evidence from Poland 1992-2005," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0360, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Pelloni , Alessandra, 2010. "What are we learning from the life satisfaction literature?," AICCON Working Papers 76-2010, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    3. John Knight & Ramani Gunatilak, 2014. "Subjective Well-being and Social Evaluation in a Poor Country," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586788 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tridico, Pasquale, 2013. "The stage of development among former communist economies: Social capital, the middle class and democracy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 47-58.

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