Can policy make us happier? Individual characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and life satisfaction in Central and Eastern Europe
In the last decade, Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have witnessed a rapid economic convergence vis-à-vis Western Europe. However, this rapid growth has not been matched by a similarly rapid increase in life satisfaction, which has remained low in the European context. This paper sets out to address this conundrum, by looking at the individual and macro-level determinants of individual life satisfaction in ten CEE countries. The results highlight that while Central and Eastern Europeans share the same individual determinants of happiness as people in the West (despite some significant cross-country variation), macroeconomic and institutional differences are the key factors behind the lack of convergence in life satisfaction. On the macroeconomic side, GDP growth is still a source of increasing well-being, but the happiness bonus associated with it is becoming smaller. The different levels of individual happiness in CEE are therefore mostly determined by institutional factors such as corruption, government spending and decentralisation, making policies aimed at enhancing institutional quality capable of bringing about substantial improvements in the overall life satisfaction of the people in the region.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Dijver 11, B-8000 Brugge|
Web page: http://www.coleurope.eu
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Guriev, Sergei & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2009.
"(Un)Happiness in Transition,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7258, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kaisa Kotakorpi & Jani-Petri Laamanen, 2010.
"Welfare State and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Public Health Care,"
London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(307), pages 565-583, 07.
- Kaisa Kotakorpi & Jani-Petri Laamanen, 2007. "Welfare State and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Public Health Care," Working Papers 0761, University of Tampere, School of Management, Economics.
- Jani-Petri Laamanen & Kaisa Kotakorpi, 2007. "Welfare State and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Public Health Care," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-053/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012.
"The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542.
- Paul Frijters & Tony Beatton, 2008. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," NCER Working Paper Series 26, National Centre for Econometric Research.
- Orsolya Lelkes, 2005.
"Knowing what is good for you: Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the 'objective good',"
094, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
- Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Knowing what is good for you: Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the "objective good"," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 285-307, April.
- Orsolya Lelkes, 2005. "Knowing what is good for you. Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the 'objective good'," Others 0502002, EconWPA.
- Orsolya Lelkes, 2005. "Knowing what is good for you. Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the “objective good”," Others 0502008, EconWPA.
- Orsolya Lelkes, 2004. "Knowing what is good for you. Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the “objective good”," Others 0410010, EconWPA.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness,"
ZEI Working Papers
B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- 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.
- Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2009.
"The Economic Effects of Federalism and Decentralization – A Cross-Country Assessment,"
MAGKS Papers on Economics
200905, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
- Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2012. "The economic effects of federalism and decentralization—a cross-country assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 229-254, April.
- Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Federalism and Decentralization - A Cross-Country Assessment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2766, CESifo Group Munich.
- Heinz Welsch, 2008. "The welfare costs of corruption," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(14), pages 1839-1849.
- Luis Diaz-Serrano & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2011.
"Decentralization, happiness and the perception of institutions,"
2011-07, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
- Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Rodríguez Pose, Andrés, 2011. "Decentralization, happiness and the perception of institutions," Working Papers 2072/151812, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
- Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2011. "Decentralization, Happiness and the Perception of Institutions," IZA Discussion Papers 5647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Rodriguez-Pose, Andres, 2011. "Decentralization, Happiness, and the Perception of Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jan Ott, 2010. "Good Governance and Happiness in Nations: Technical Quality Precedes Democracy and Quality Beats Size," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 353-368, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:coe:wpbeer:22. 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: (Jessie Moerman)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.