The determinants of individual happiness in Kazakhstan
This paper investigates the impact of social, economic and institutional changes on individual perceptions of happiness in Kazakhstan. We use household level data for Kazakhstan for 3 years--1996 (in the initial years of transition), 2001 (as it became a fully fledged transition economy) and 2006 (an emerging economy with a market system in many sectors including banking and finance). Data across these years allow us to consider how the transition as well as personal, household and regional factors have impacted on individual happiness. We find that the size of dwelling had a significant impact in all 3 years and that ethnic Kazakhs were happier than Russians as transition matured. We also find that living in regions of high unemployment, contrary to expectations, did not increase the unhappiness of individuals. This is because living in regions with high unemployment meant that the unemployed did not feel too marginalised from society. At the same time, it allowed the employed to feel particularly fortunate.
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Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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