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Happiness and Transition: The Case of Kyrgyzstan

  • Namazie, Ceema
  • Sanfey, Peter

The paper analyzes self-reported measures of satisfaction with life in a transition country, Kyrgyzstan, using 1993 household survey data. The authors 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. There is some evidence that income relativities, as measured by perceived position on the wealth ladder, also have a strong effect on life satisfaction. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 392-405

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Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:5:y:2001:i:3:p:392-405
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  1. 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.
  2. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Rafal Antczak & Marek Dabrowski, 1994. "Economic Reforms in Kyrgyzstan," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0028, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  13. Morawetz, David, 1977. "Income Distribution and Self-Rated Happiness: Some Empirical Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(347), pages 511-22, September.
  14. Ruut Veenhoven, 1996. "Developments in satisfaction-research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-46, January.
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