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Has transition improved well-being?

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  • 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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jirí Vecerník & Martina Mysíková, 2014. "(Un)happy transition? Subjective Well-being in European Countries in 1991-2008 and Beyond," WIFO Working Papers 467, WIFO.
    2. repec:iza:izawol:journl:2017:n:357 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    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. 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.
    6. Nathalie Scholl & Stephan Klasen, 2016. "Re-estimating the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 205, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    7. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transition economies; Well-being; Income inequality; Subjective welfare measures;

    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

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