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Does transition make you happy?

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  • Peter Sanfey
  • Utku Teksoz

Abstract

This paper analyses life satisfaction in transition countries using evidence from the "World Values Survey". The paper demonstrates that individuals in transition economies on average record lower values of self-reported satisfaction with life compared with those in non-transition countries. A comparison across time for a smaller sample of countries shows that life satisfaction levels have returned close to pre-transition levels in most cases, after a dip in the mid-1990s. The socio-economic groups that exhibit relatively higher levels of happiness include students, people with higher levels of education and those on higher incomes. Happiness declines with age until the early-50s and is slow to recover afterwards. Self-employed people in transition countries show a level of satisfaction as high as, or higher than, full-time employees, in contrast to evidence from non-transition countries. In addition, satisfaction levels are highest in those countries where standards of economic governance are most advanced and where inequality is lower. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2007 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development .

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Sanfey & Utku Teksoz, 2007. "Does transition make you happy?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 707-731, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:15:y:2007:i::p:707-731
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    1. Carola Gruen & Stephan Klasen, 2005. "Has transition improved well-being? An analysis based on income, inequality-adjusted income, nonincome, and subjective well-being measures," Working Papers 04, Economic Research Southern Africa.
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