IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecosys/v36y2012i1p11-30.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Has transition improved well-being?

Author

Listed:
  • Gruen, Carola
  • Klasen, Stephan

Abstract

In this paper we examine trends in economic well-being in transition countries from 1988 to 2008 to determine whether the populations of transition countries are better off today than prior to the transition process. To do this, we examine economic performance, inequality-adjusted well-being measures, subjective well-being measures, and non-income dimensions of well-being. While for many of the transition countries some indicators of well-being show improvements compared to the pre-transition period, the sharp rise in inequality and low levels of social indicators and subjective well-being suggest that well-being in many countries is similar to, or even below, the levels experienced prior to transition. The only indicators which have shown consistent improvements are measures of political and civil liberties.

Suggested Citation

  • Gruen, Carola & Klasen, Stephan, 2012. "Has transition improved well-being?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 11-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:36:y:2012:i:1:p:11-30
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecosys.2011.09.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0939362511000616
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.ecosys.2011.09.002?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Carola Grün & Stephan Klasen, 2003. "Growth, Inequality, and Well-Being: Intertemporal and Global Comparisons," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(4), pages 617-659.
    3. Gregori Baetschmann & Kevin E. Staub & Rainer Winkelmann, 2015. "Consistent estimation of the fixed effects ordered logit model," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 178(3), pages 685-703, June.
    4. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    5. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
    6. Selezneva, Ekaterina, 2011. "Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being: Income, work, family," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 139-157, June.
    7. Dagum, Camilo, 1990. "On the relationship between income inequality measures and social welfare functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 91-102.
    8. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    9. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages 222-243, June.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:01:p:191-207_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Carola Grün & Stephan Klasen, 2001. "Growth, income distribution and well‐being in transition countries," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(2), pages 359-394, July.
    12. Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438827, January.
    13. Headey, Bruce & Muffels, Ruud & Wooden, Mark, 2004. "Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness… Or Does It? A Reconsideration Based on the Combined Effects of Wealth, Income and Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 1218, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    15. Kakwani, Nanak, 1981. "Welfare measures : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 21-45, February.
    16. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    17. Suhrcke, Marc, 2001. "Preferences for Inequality: East vs. West," Discussion Paper Series 26369, Hamburg Institute of International Economics.
    18. Schiff, Maurice, 2004. "On the Inefficiency of Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1283, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975.
    20. Morawetz, David, 1977. "Income Distribution and Self-Rated Happiness: Some Empirical Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(347), pages 511-522, September.
    21. Carola Gruen & Stephan Klasen, 2008. "Growth, inequality, and welfare: comparisons across space and time," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 212-236, April.
    22. Klasen, Stephan, 1994. "Growth and Well-being: Introducing Distribution-Weighted Growth Rates to Reevaluate U.S. Post-war Economic Performance," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(3), pages 251-272, September.
    23. Stephan Klasen, 2008. "The Efficiency of Equity," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 257-274.
    24. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    25. Easterlin, Richard A., 2003. "Building a Better Theory of Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 742, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    26. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1997. "Trends in Real Income in Britain: A Microeconomic Analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 483-500.
    27. Stodder, James, 1991. "Equity-Efficiency Preferences in Poland and the Soviet Union: Order-Reversals under the Atkinson Index," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 287-299, September.
    28. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    29. Sen, Amartya, 1979. "The Welfare Basis of Real Income Comparisons: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-45, March.
    30. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    31. Yoram Amiel & John Creedy & Stan Hurn, 1999. "Measuring Attitudes Towards Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 83-96, March.
    32. Christoph Wunder, 2009. "Adaptation to Income over Time: A Weak Point of Subjective Well-Being," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(2), pages 269-281.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ekaterina Skoglund, 2017. "The happiness gap between transition and non-transition countries," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 357-357, May.
    2. Stephen Jenkins, 2015. "World income inequality databases: an assessment of WIID and SWIID," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(4), pages 629-671, December.
    3. Nikolova, Milena, 2016. "Minding the happiness gap: Political institutions and perceived quality of life in transition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 129-148.
    4. Annim, Samuel Kobina & Mariwah, Simon & Sebu, Joshua, 2012. "Spatial inequality and household poverty in Ghana," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 487-505.
    5. Huaxing Liu & Hong Gao & Qing Huang, 2020. "Better Government, Happier Residents? Quality of Government and Life Satisfaction in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 971-990, February.
    6. Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Nikolova, Milena & Popova, Olga, 2021. "Double-edged sword: Persistent effects of Communism on life satisfaction," GLO Discussion Paper Series 927, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Jiří Večerník & Martina Mysíková, 2014. "(Un)happy transition? Subjective Well-being in European Countries in 1991-2008 and Beyond," WIFO Working Papers 467, WIFO.
    8. Nikoloski Dimitar & Pechijareski Ljupcho, 2017. "The Unemployed Workers’ Perceptions of Stress and Employment Prospects in Macedonia: The Role of Alternative Adjustment Mechanisms," South East European Journal of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 12(1), pages 68-79, April.
    9. Cancho,Cesar A. & Davalos,Maria Eugenia & Sanchez,Carolina, 2015. "Why so gloomy ? perceptions of economic mobility in Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7519, The World Bank.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Popova, Olga, 2014. "Can religion insure against aggregate shocks to happiness? The case of transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 804-818.
    2. Alpaslan Akay & Olivier Bargain & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2017. "Home Sweet Home?: Macroeconomic Conditions in Home Countries and the Well-Being of Migrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(2), pages 351-373.
    3. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
    4. Edsel Beja Jr., 2013. "Subjective Well-Being Approach to the Valuation of International Development: Evidence for the Millennium Development Goals," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 141-159, March.
    5. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
    6. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2013. "Happiness economics," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 35-60, March.
    7. Leonardo Becchetti & Alessandra Pelloni, 2013. "What are we learning from the life satisfaction literature?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 60(2), pages 113-155, June.
    8. Rubia R. Valente & Brian J. L. Berry, 2016. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Latin America and the United States," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1173-1204, June.
    9. Pervin Ahu Cerci & Devrim Dumludag, 2019. "Life Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction among University Faculty: The Impact of Working Conditions, Academic Performance and Relative Income," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 144(2), pages 785-806, July.
    10. Andrew E. Clark, 2018. "Four Decades of the Economics of Happiness: Where Next?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(2), pages 245-269, June.
    11. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    12. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
    13. Konow, James & Earley, Joseph, 2008. "The Hedonistic Paradox: Is homo economicus happier," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 1-33, February.
    14. Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542.
    15. Korthals, R.A., 2012. "Selection and tracking in secondary education : a cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities," Research Memorandum 049, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    16. Robert Rudolf, 2014. "Work Shorter, Be Happier? Longitudinal Evidence from the Korean Five-Day Working Policy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1139-1163, October.
    17. Van Landeghem, Bert, 2012. "A test for the convexity of human well-being over the life cycle: Longitudinal evidence from a 20-year panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 571-582.
    18. Michela Ponzo, 2011. "Occupational Status and Individual Subjective Well-Being in Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, September.
    19. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
    20. Peiro, Amado, 2006. "Happiness, satisfaction and socio-economic conditions: Some international evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 348-365, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transition economies; Well-being; Income inequality; Subjective welfare measures;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:36:y:2012:i:1:p:11-30. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/osteide.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/osteide.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.