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Rising Economic Prosperity and Social Quality the Case of New Member States of the European Union

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  • Pamela Abbott
  • Claire Wallace

Abstract

This paper considers whether rising economic prosperity in the New Member States of the European Union since joining the EU is also reflected in better a quality of life and what constitutes a better quality of society for the citizens of these countries. The paper contributes to the debate about the relationship between economic conditions and subjective well-being by showing that the factors that contribute to the latter have not only changed with economic growth but that subjective life satisfaction has also improved. Here we consider how this relationship can be explained by using the Social Quality model to measure the quality of society. We look specifically at the New Member States of the European Union (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria) using the European Quality of Life Surveys for 2003 and 2007. This covers a period during which the economic conditions of these societies improved and they modernised. The social quality model explains a great deal of the variance in life satisfaction and helps us to show that as well as economic factors, other aspects of the quality of society, such as social integration and empowerment, are also important. We argue that economic and social factors have to be understood as interacting with other aspects of society if we seek to understand the quality of society. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

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  • Pamela Abbott & Claire Wallace, 2014. "Rising Economic Prosperity and Social Quality the Case of New Member States of the European Union," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 419-439, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:115:y:2014:i:1:p:419-439
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-9992-0
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    4. Shuai Zhang & Binbin Liu & Dajian Zhu & Mingwang Cheng, 2018. "Explaining Individual Subjective Well-Being of Urban China Based on the Four-Capital Model," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(10), pages 1-14, September.
    5. Zarnekow, Nana & Henning, Christian H.C.A., 2015. "Nice Neighborhood or Network Capital: What drives Residential Quality of Life?," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205637, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Franci Cirkvencic & Tine Bertoncel & Andrej Bertoncelj & Maja Meško, 2017. "Analysis of Relative Prosperity in Romania and Slovenia Using the Being-Loving-Having Model," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(46), pages 822-822, August.
    7. Jesús Peiró-Palomino & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo, 2018. "Assessing well-being in European regions. Does government quality matter?," Working Papers 2018/06, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    8. Pamela Abbott & Claire Wallace & Ka Lin & Christian Haerpfer, 2016. "The Quality of Society and Life Satisfaction in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 653-670, June.

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