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Happiness in transition: the case of Kyrgyzstan

  • Ceema Namazie
  • Peter Sanfey

We analyse self-reported measures of satisfaction with life in a transition country, Kyrgyzstan, using 1993 household survey data. We test whether higher levels of satisfaction are associated with greater economic well-being. This hypothesis is strongly supported by the data. Unhappiness is prevalent among older people, the unemployed, and those who are divorced. There appears to be little correlation between happiness and either gender or education level. We find some evidence that income relativities, as measured by perceived position on the wealth ladder, also have a strong effect on life satisfaction.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6591/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6591.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6591
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Raiser & Peter Sanfey, 1998. "Statistical review," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 6(2), pages 537-548, November.
  3. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  4. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  5. ED Diener & Carol Diener, 1995. "The wealth of nations revisited: Income and quality of life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 275-286, November.
  6. Morawetz, David, 1977. "Income Distribution and Self-Rated Happiness: Some Empirical Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(347), pages 511-22, September.
  7. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Ruut Veenhoven, 1996. "Developments in satisfaction-research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-46, January.
  10. David G. Blanchflower & Richard Freeman, 1997. "The attitudinal legacy of Communist labor relations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 438-459, April.
  11. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  12. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  13. Rafal Antczak & Marek Dabrowski, 1994. "Economic Reforms in Kyrgyzstan," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0028, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  14. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A.J., 1997. "A Study of Labour Markets and Youth Unemployment in Eastern Europe," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 499, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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