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Relative Deprivation and Well-being: Switzerland in a Comparative Perspective

In: Contemporary Switzerland


  • Christian Suter
  • Katia Iglesias


Using data from a European welfare survey this contribution examines the actual Swiss standard of living, the degree and distribution of relative deprivation (the lack of socially perceived necessities) and their consequences for subjective well-being within a European context Although Switzerland has maintained its high level of standard of living, its low level of relative deprivation and its high level of subjective well-being, the differences between Switzerland and the other European countries have become less pronounced. Despite disparities concerning the actual standard of living and a corresponding east-west gradient there is a large consensus among the examined four countries concerning the minimum standard of living regarded as absolutely necessary for a decent life. In all countries relative deprivation negatively impacts on individual well-being whereas societal well-being that concerns the broader social environments of the individuals remains largely unaffected by deprivation, income and other inequality measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Suter & Katia Iglesias, 2005. "Relative Deprivation and Well-being: Switzerland in a Comparative Perspective," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Hanspeter Kriesi & Peter Farago & Martin Kohli & Milad Zarin-Nejadan (ed.), Contemporary Switzerland, chapter 1, pages 9-37, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:palchp:978-0-230-52358-6_2
    DOI: 10.1057/9780230523586_2

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