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International inequality in subjective well†being: An exploration with the Gallup World Poll

Pablo Gluzmann () and Leonardo Gasparini

Review of Development Economics, 2018, vol. 22, issue 2, 610-631

Abstract: In this paper we compute inequality measures over the distribution of a subjective well†being variable constructed from a life satisfaction question included in the Gallup World Poll in almost all countries in the world. We argue that inequality in subjective well†being may be a better proxy for the degree of unfairness in a society than income inequality. We find evidence that inequality in subjective well†being has an inverse†U relationship with per capita GDP, but it is monotonically decreasing with respect to mean subjective well†being. We argue that this difference might be associated to inequality aversion in the space of utility.

Date: 2018
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