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Can religion insure against aggregate shocks to happiness? The case of transition countries

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  • Popova, Olga

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of reforms and religion on happiness in transition economies. Earlier literature suggests that religiosity insures happiness against various individual stressful life events. This phenomenon is well-explored in developed countries but rarely studied in post-communist countries, where religion was officially suppressed for a long period. These countries have undergone considerable economic transformations over the past two decades. Using cross-sectional Life in Transition Survey data and historical data on religions, I examine if religion insures against economic reforms. The endogeneity of religion is taken into account. The findings suggest that economic reforms may have both positive and negative effects on happiness. Religiosity indeed insures happiness and perceptions of economic and political situations against economic reforms.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:42:y:2014:i:3:p:804-818
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2014.05.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergei Guriev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2009. "(Un)happiness in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 143-168, Spring.
    2. repec:bla:etrans:v:25:y:2017:i:2:p:165-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. van Hoorn, André & Maseland, Robbert, 2013. "Does a Protestant work ethic exist? Evidence from the well-being effect of unemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1-12.
    4. Nikolova, Milena & Roman, Monica & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2017. "Left behind but doing good? Civic engagement in two post-socialist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 658-684.
    5. Bryukhanov, Maksym & Fedotenkov, Igor, 2017. "Religiosity and life satisfaction in Russia: Evidence from the Russian data," MPRA Paper 82750, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jeffrey B. Nugent & Malgorzata Switek & Fengyu Wu, 2015. "Socio-Political Attitudes Across the World: to What Extent are they Affected by One's Religion, it's Importance, Majority Status and Relative Income," Working Papers 972, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2015.
    7. Olga Popova, 2017. "Does religiosity explain economic outcomes?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 335-335, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Nikolova, Elena & Sanfey, Peter, 2016. "How much should we trust life satisfaction data? Evidence from the Life in Transition Survey," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 720-731.
    10. repec:iza:izawol:journl:2017:n:357 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Olga Popova, 2016. "Suffer for the Faith? Parental Religiosity and Children’s Health," Working Papers 356, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    12. Michal Brzezinski, 2017. "Diagnosing unhappiness dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Life satisfaction; Religiosity; Reforms; Transition economies;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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