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GINI DP 38: Inequality and Happiness: A Survey

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  • Ada Ferrer-i-carbonell

    () (Campus U.A.B., Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica, IAE(CSIC))

  • Ramos, X. (Xavier)

Abstract

In recent years there has been an accumulation of empirical evidence suggesting that individuals dislike inequality (Alesina and Giuliano, 2011 and Dawes et al., 2007). The literature has built upon estimating the degree of this dislike as well as its causes. The use of self-reported measures of satisfaction or well-being as a proxy for utility has been one of the empirical strategies used to this end. In this survey we review the papers that estimate or examine the relationship between inequality and self-reported happiness, and find that inequality reduces happiness in Western societies. The evidence for non-Western societies is more mixed and less reliable. Notwithstanding that, trust in the institutions seems to play an important role in shaping the relationship between income inequality and subjective wellbeing. We conclude with suggestions for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ada Ferrer-i-carbonell & Ramos, X. (Xavier), 2012. "GINI DP 38: Inequality and Happiness: A Survey," GINI Discussion Papers 38, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:38
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Simone M. Schneider, 2016. "Income Inequality and Subjective Wellbeing: Trends, Challenges, and Research Directions," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1719-1739, August.

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