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The emerging aversion to inequality - Evidence from long subjective data

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  • Irena Grosfeld

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Claudia Senik

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne)

Abstract

This paper provides evidence of a change in the relationship between individual satisfaction with the state of country's economy and income inequality during transition from a command to market economic system. Using data from a series of extensive and frequent surveys of Polish population, we identify a structural break in this relationship. In the beginning of transition, an increase in income inequality is interpreted by population as a positive signal of increased opportunities; this sentiment is particularly strong among older people and people with right-wing political views. Later in the transition period, increased inequality becomes an important reason for dissatisfaction of the public with the country's economic situation and reforms, as people become more skeptical about the legitimacy of income generation process. We also provide direct evidence from opinion polls of a change in the public sentiment about income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Irena Grosfeld & Claudia Senik, 2009. "The emerging aversion to inequality - Evidence from long subjective data," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586788, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586788
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00586788
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
    3. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2008. "Gross national happiness as an answer to the Easterlin Paradox?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 22-42, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Selezneva, Ekaterina, 2011. "Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being: Income, work, family," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 139-157, June.
    2. Bjornskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina AV & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2009. "On the relation between income inequality and happiness: Do fairness perceptions matter?," MPRA Paper 19494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fischer, Justina A.V. & Pastore, Francesco, 2015. "Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis: Religion and Female Employment over Time," IZA Discussion Papers 9244, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V. & Schnellenbach, Jan & Gehring, Kai, 2013. "Inequality and happiness: When perceived social mobility and economic reality do not match," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 75-92.
    5. Sergei Guriev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2009. "(Un)happiness in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 143-168, Spring.
    6. repec:got:cegedp:91 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; subjective well-being; growth; breakpoint; transition; inégalité; satisfaction; réformes;

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