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Über die materielle zur inneren Einheit? Wohlstandslagen und subjektives Wohlbefinden in Ost- und Westdeutschland


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  • Delhey, Jan
  • Böhnke, Petra


In diesem Arbeitspapier wird die Verbindung zwischen individuellen Lebensbedingungen und dem subjektiven Wohlbefinden der Bevölkerung in den neuen und alten Bundesländern erkundet. Im vereinten Deutschland haben die Ostdeutschen auch zehn Jahre nach dem Fall der Mauer eine ungünstigere Position in der Wohlstandsschichtung inne. Gleichwohl lassen sich die im Durchschnitt geringeren Zufriedenheiten und schlechteren Gesellschaftsbewertungen in den neuen Bundesländern nur zum Teil auf die schlechteren individuellen Lebensbedingungen zurückführen. Kollektive Vergleiche zwischen Ost und West, subjektive Einschätzungen der eigenen Lage und politische Orientierungen sind als Erklärungen zu berücksichtigen. Eine weitere Angleichung der Lebensbedingungen – für die es ohnehin aus strukturellen Gründen einen längeren Atem brauchen wird – führt deshalb nicht automatisch zu gleichen Zufriedenheiten und Gesellschaftsbewertungen. Die materielle Einheit ist die dafür notwendige, aber vermutlich nicht hinreichende Voraussetzung. -- In this paper the connection between the development of living conditions in East and West Germany on the one hand and the subjective well-being of the population on the other hand is explored. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germans still are in a lower position within the German stratification system. But differences in individual living conditions only account for part of these differences in satisfaction and attitudes between East and West Germans. This gap can be explained by collective comparisons between the old and the new Bundesländer, assessments of the individual status and political beliefs. It follows that a further improvement of living conditions in the Eastern part must not automatically lead to identical levels of satisfaction. To reach this, equal living conditions are a necessary, but not the only precondition.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Social Structure and Social Reporting with number FS III 99-412.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbssr:fsiii99412

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  1. Bulmahn, Thomas, 1999. "Attribute einer lebenswerten Gesellschaft: Freiheit, Wohlstand, Sicherheit und Gerechtigkeit," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Social Structure and Social Reporting FS III 99-411, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Otis Duncan, 1975. "Does money buy satisfaction?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 267-274, December.
  3. Böhnke, Petra & Delhey, Jan, 1999. "Lebensstandard und Armut im vereinten Deutschland," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Social Structure and Social Reporting FS III 99-408, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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Cited by:
  1. Bernhard Christoph, 2010. "The Relation Between Life Satisfaction and the Material Situation: A Re-Evaluation Using Alternative Measures," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 98(3), pages 475-499, September.


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