Minding the happiness gap: Political institutions and perceived quality of life in transition
Milena Nikolova ()
European Journal of Political Economy, 2016, vol. 45, issue S, 129-148
Along with political and economic changes, the fall of the socialist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union brought about fundamental institutional reforms. Several studies have examined the causes of the increasing unhappiness that accompanied the transition process, including deteriorating public goods, rising inequality, income volatility, stagnating labor market conditions and changing norms. However, few papers have sought explanations for the life satisfaction differentials between transition and non-transition economies. In this paper, I specifically examine the life satisfaction gap between post-socialist and advanced countries and the role of political institutions for explaining this gap. My results imply that both macro-economic factors and the rule of law explain the overall life satisfaction differential between the advanced and transition societies. The rule of law played an additional role in reducing the happiness gap in the 1990s and may have even reversed it in the post-crisis years. As institutions and macro-economic conditions continue to improve, post-socialist countries may complete their transformation processes and achieve quality-of-life levels comparable with those in the West.
Keywords: Subjective well-being; Institutions; Transition economies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 E02 I31 P20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
Working Paper: Minding the Happiness Gap: Political Institutions and Perceived Quality of Life in Transition (2015)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:poleco:v:45:y:2016:i:s:p:129-148
Access Statistics for this article
European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung
More articles in European Journal of Political Economy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().