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Mobility, Uncertainty and Subjective Well-being in Hungary

  • György Molnár

    ()

    (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Zsuzsa Kapitány

    ()

    (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

In this paper subjective well-being measured by survey questions on life and material satisfaction is investigated. Our context is Hungary, between 2000 and 2002. We identify some basic variables that have important effect on how individuals perceive well-being in competitive pressure situation, namely, relative income mobility, subjective mobility, relative income position and subjective wealth position. We find that perception of changes in the relative income, wealth, and labour market positions, and the future prospects of these variables effect strongly on subjective well-being. Analysing the deviation between the objective and subjective trends of these variables and the reactions of households under these influences, we find that the objective trends of income and income mobility are very important with respect to satisfaction, but how people perceive their past relative income and income mobility, and their prospect of upward mobility in the future are what really determine satisfaction. The majority of respondents underestimate the real size of changes in their past financial positions, and the uncertainty of the competitive pressure situation is what really leads to this underestimation.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 0605.

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Date of creation: 13 Jun 2006
Date of revision: 13 Jun 2006
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0605
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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jean Tirole & Roland Benabou, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," 2004 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe A, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: the POUM Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  6. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
  7. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Mobility as Progressivity: Ranking Income Processes According to Equality of Opportunity," NBER Working Papers 8431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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