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Subjective Perceptions of Poverty and Objective Economic Conditions: Czechia and Slovakia a Quarter Century After the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

Author

Listed:
  • Martina Mysíková

    () (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

  • Tomáš Želinský

    (Technical University of Košice)

  • Thesia I. Garner

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Jiří Večerník

    (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

Abstract

Studies into the relation between subjective perceptions of individuals and objective economic conditions have usually resulted in ambiguous empirical findings. Whilst most studies perceive subjective welfare as being operationalized by indicators of happiness or life satisfaction, we narrow the approach to an economic domain of subjective well-being—perceptions of poverty. We argue that our approach better reflects the economic dimension, as the former may include numerous non-economic domains. We use a case study of two countries—Czechia and Slovakia—which underwent early economic transition as a common state in 1989–1992, then became independent states in 1993, after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. We base our findings on three historical data sets covering a period from around the end of the communist era to the early years after the split, and recent data from EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (2005–2016). Despite initially small differences in subjective poverty levels in socialist Czechoslovakia, a considerably larger drop in economic performance during the transition period in Slovakia than in Czechia resulted in a sharp widening of the subjective poverty gap. The recent data suggests that, despite a high degree of actual economic convergence of Slovakia and Czechia, the gap in subjective perceptions of poverty is declining at a remarkably slower pace. We argue that relatively fast economic growth is not necessarily associated with a commensurate decline in subjective poverty perceptions. Our results thus support the Easterlin Paradox, although we substitute happiness by an economic dimension of subjective well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Martina Mysíková & Tomáš Želinský & Thesia I. Garner & Jiří Večerník, 2019. "Subjective Perceptions of Poverty and Objective Economic Conditions: Czechia and Slovakia a Quarter Century After the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 145(2), pages 523-550, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:145:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-019-02102-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-019-02102-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chenhong Peng & Paul S. F. Yip & Yik Wa Law, 2020. "What Factors Beyond Economic Poverty Lead People in High-income Societies to Feel Poor? Evidence from Hong Kong," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(3), pages 991-1027, December.
    2. Siu Ming Chan & Hung Wong, 2020. "Impact of Income, Deprivation and Social Exclusion on Subjective Poverty: A Structural Equation Model of Multidimensional Poverty in Hong Kong," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(3), pages 971-990, December.
    3. Hovi Matti & Laamanen Jani-Petri, 2020. "Income, Aspirations and Subjective Well-being: International Evidence," Working Papers 2029, Tampere University, School of Management and Business, Economics.

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