IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What contributes to life satisfaction in transitional Romania?


  • Andrén, Daniela

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)


This paper analyzes life satisfaction in Romania in 2001, 12 years after the collapse of communism and the beginning of the transition into a market economy. Using a survey of 1770 individuals, we find that our results are very similar to studies in Western Europe and the US. Life satisfaction increases with housing standard, health status, economic situation, education, trusting other people, and living in the countryside, and decreases with rising unemployment. However, life satisfaction is lower than in Western countries with about 75% of the people in the sample being not at all satisfied or quite dissatisfied with their life in general. A policy discussion concludes the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrén, Daniela & Martinsson, Peter, 2003. "What contributes to life satisfaction in transitional Romania?," Working Papers in Economics 111, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0111
    Note: Published in Review of Development Economics, 2006, Vol 10, pp. 59-70.

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. G. Ibrahim & A. Cooke & D. Paton, 2002. "Have Lower Real Wages Helped Industrial Restructuring in Romania?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 165-180.
    2. Earle, John S. & Telegdy, Álmos, 2001. "Privatization and Productivity in Romanian Industry: Evidence from a Comprehensive Enterprise Panel," IZA Discussion Papers 326, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    4. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-241, May.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    8. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    9. Chen, Shaohua & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Is Poverty Increasing in the Developing World?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(4), pages 359-376, December.
    10. 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.
    11. Clark, Andrew E., 1997. "Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 341-372, December.
    12. Gerlach, Knut & Stephan, Gesine, 1996. "A paper on unhappiness and unemployment in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 325-330, September.
    13. Richard A. Easterlin, 2000. "The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-26, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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. Julie Litchfield & Barry Reilly & Mario Veneziani, 2009. "How Happy are the Albanians: an Empirical ANALYSIS OF LIFE SATISFACTION," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1065, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    3. Stefano Bartolini & Małgorzata Mikucka & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Money, Trust and Happiness in Transition Countries: Evidence from Time Series," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 87-106, January.
    4. Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2008. "Analysis of domain satisfactions: Evidence from a panel of Greek women," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1347-1362, August.
    5. Mitrut, Andreea & Wolff, François-Charles, 2011. "Do private and public transfers received affect life satisfaction? Evidence from Romania," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 969-979.
    6. Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai & Tiemin Liu & Yin Liu & C.Y. Tang & Zhihong Wang & Zuxiang Wang & Juyong Zhang, 2008. "Environmental Surroundings And Personal Well-Being In Urban China," Monash Economics Working Papers 32/08, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    7. Smyth, Russell & Mishra, Vinod & Qian, Xiaolei, 2008. "The Environment and Well-Being in Urban China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 547-555, December.
    8. Nazim N. Habibov, 2011. "Self-perceived social stratification in low-income transitional countries: Examining the multi-country survey in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 5-22, January.
    9. Hayo, Bernd, 2007. "Happiness in transition: An empirical study on Eastern Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 204-221, June.
    10. Cancho,Cesar A. & Davalos,Maria Eugenia & Sanchez,Carolina, 2015. "Why so gloomy ? perceptions of economic mobility in Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7519, The World Bank.
    11. Pamela Abbott & Claire Wallace & Roger Sapsford, 2011. "Surviving the Transformation: Social Quality in Central Asia and the Caucuses," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 199-223, April.

    More about this item


    general life satisfaction; subjective well-being; domain specific satisfaction; Romania; transition economy;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0111. 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: (Marie Andersson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.