IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The impact of inflation and unemployment on subjective personal and country evaluations

  • Néstor Gándelman
  • Rubén Hernández-Murillo

The authors use data from the Gallup World Poll to analyze what determines individual assessments of past, present, and future personal and country well-being. These measures allow the analysis of two dimensions of happiness data not previously examined in the literature: the better-than-average effect and optimism. The authors find that individuals tend to evaluate their personal well-being as being better than their country's and tend to expect that their future well-being will improve. The authors also analyze the impact of inflation and unemployment on these subjective measures and find that both variables have a negative effect on individuals' assessments of past and present well-being for themselves and their country; in contrast with other studies, however, they do not find that the effect of unemployment is significantly different from that of inflation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): May ()
Pages: 107-126

in new window

Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2009:i:may:p:107-126:n:v.91no.3
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, MO 63166
Fax: (314)444-8753
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Benoît, Jean-Pierre & Dubra, Juan & Moore, Don, 2009. "Does the Better-Than-Average Effect Show That People Are Overconfident?: An Experiment," MPRA Paper 13168, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bernard M. S. van Praag & P. Frijters & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2001. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-Being," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 265, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  4. Jean Pierre Benoit & Juan Dubra, 2008. "Overconfidence?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002142, David K. Levine.
  5. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  6. Arjun Jayadev, . "The Class Content of Preferences Towards Anti-Inflation and Anti Unemployment Policies," Working Papers 8, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
  7. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Well-Being," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
  8. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
  9. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-78, May.
  10. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," NBER Working Papers 14282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Chuang, Wen-I & Lee, Bong-Soo, 2006. "An empirical evaluation of the overconfidence hypothesis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 2489-2515, September.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "Is Unemployment More Costly Than Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 13505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Michael C. & Pao-Lin Tien, 2000. "Economic Discomfort and Consumer Sentiment," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, Winter.
  18. Scoppa Vincenzo & Ponzo Michela, 2008. "An Empirical Study of Happiness in Italy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-23, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2009:i:may:p:107-126:n:v.91no.3. 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: (Anna Xiao)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.