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An Analysis of Life Satisfaction in Albania: An Heteroscedastic Ordered Probit Model Approach

  • Julie Litchfield

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

  • Barry Reilly

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

  • Mario Veneziani

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy)

This paper uses the nationally representative Albanian Living Standards Measurement Survey from 2005 to investigate the determinants of life satisfaction. In common with much of the existing empirical economics literature that models life satisfaction (or subjective well-being) this paper exploits an ordered probit model. In contrast to the existing literature, however, the current study places an important emphasis on regression model evaluation. Diagnostic testing revealed a number of econometric model deficiencies but the explicit incorporation of an heteroscedastic function into the ordered probit model resolved all detected problems. The tenor of the key findings generally reflects that found in the literature on the determinants of life satisfaction for both advanced capitalist and transitional economies. However, a number of additional themes with a strong Albanian dimension were interrogated. In particular, our study revealed evidence of long memories among Albanian respondents with respect to the collapse of that country’s notorious pyramid schemes and the scarring effects of the episode continue to impact on life satisfaction even with the passage of almost eight years. A sizeable effect for communal level crime activity on life satisfaction was also detected. In addition, our econometric estimates provided some empirical insights on the monetary value of friendship and the costs of children.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Sussex in its series Working Paper Series with number 0310.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:0310
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