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Life Satisfaction and Economic Conditions in East and West Germany Pre- and Post-Unification

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  • Richard A. Easterlin
  • Anke C. Zimmermann

Abstract

Economic disruption in East Germany at the time of unification resulted in a noticeable drop in life satisfaction. By the late 1990s East Germany's life satisfaction had recovered to about its 1990 level, and its shortfall relative to West Germany was slightly less than that before unification. In West Germany life satisfaction was fairly constant before unification, but subsequently trended moderately downward, with Turkish life satisfaction declining noticeably relative to Germans. Changes in life satisfaction in East and West Germany both for Germans and foreigners are most closely associated with relative income variables, not absolute income.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.81745.de/diw_sp0095.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 95.

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Length: 42 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp95

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Keywords: Life satisfaction; happiness; relative income; income satisfaction; transition economies;

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References

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  18. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
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