The Value of Reunification in Germany: An Analysis of Changes in Life Satisfaction
Recent years have seen a considerable increase in the number of economists researching the role of income, employment status and other demographic characteristics in determining individual life satisfaction or happiness. In this paper we investigate how life satisfaction is affected by a large exogenous shock, namely, reunification for East Germans. In particular, we identify the effects of the substantial increase in real household income and increased unemployment. We implement a new fixed-effect estimator for ordinal life satisfaction in the German Socio-Economic Panel and develop a decomposition approach that accounts for new entrants and panel attrition. We find that average life satisfaction in East Germany increased by around 20% in the years following reunification, leading to a clear convergence with West Germany. Importantly, increased real household incomes in East Germany accounted for around 35-40% of this increase.
|Date of creation:||04 Jun 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, Rm E35, The Bute Building, Westburn Lane, St Andrews, KY16 9TS, UK|
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/society/annualconf.asp
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Hamermesh, Daniel S., 1999.
"The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction,"
IZA Discussion Papers
42, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Jennifer Hunt, 2000.
"Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
201, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hunt, Jennifer, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," IZA Discussion Papers 123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Hunt, Jennifer, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live In East Germany?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2431, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
- Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000.
"Identifying welfare effects from subjective questions,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2301, The World Bank.
- Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2001. "Identifying Welfare Effects from Subjective Questions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(271), pages 335-57, August.
- Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001.
"Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment,"
London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
- Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
246, CESifo Group Munich.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 2001.
"The relationship between happiness, health, and socio-economic factors: results based on Swedish microdata,"
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics),
Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 553-557.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "The Relationship between Happiness, Health and Socio-economic Factors: Results Based on Swedish Micro Data," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 207, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Frijters, Paul, 2000. "Do individuals try to maximize general satisfaction?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 281-304, June.
- Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
- 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.
- 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.
- Oswald, Andrew J, 1997.
"Happiness and Economic Performance,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
- Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
- McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
- Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
- Gerlach, Knut & Stephan, Gesine, 1996. "A paper on unhappiness and unemployment in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 325-330, September.
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
- Shields, Michael A & Wailoo, Allan, 2002. "Exploring the Determinants of Unhappiness for Ethnic Minority Men in Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(4), pages 445-66, September.
- Korpi, Tomas, 1997. "Is utility related to employment status? Employment, unemployment, labor market policies and subjective well-being among Swedish youth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 125-147, June.
- Bernard M.S. van Praag & Paul Frijters, 1999. "The measurement of welfare and well-being; the Leyden approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 071a, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:186. 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: (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.