Subjective Well-Being During the 2008 Economic Crisis: Identification of Mediating and Moderating Factors
Gregor Gonza () and
Anže Burger ()
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Gregor Gonza: University of Ljubljana
Anže Burger: University of Ljubljana
Journal of Happiness Studies, 2017, vol. 18, issue 6, 1763-1797
Abstract We examine the effects of the 2008 economic crisis on the reported subjective well-being (SWB) of nationally representative samples in 36 mainly European countries between 2002 and 2013. We study how SWB fluctuates along the business cycle, and how it is mediated by individual and country-level socioeconomic factors. Our key finding is that the economic crisis had a negative and S-shaped effect on SWB, implying diminishing marginal sensitivity at higher income losses and gains. During the economic downturn, roughly half of individual-level and macro-level determinants exhibit notable changes in significance and/or magnitude of the effect on SWB. This is taken as an indication of psychological adaptation and shifting reference frames. Five factors display an augmented effect on happiness and life satisfaction during the crisis (below-average income, the Gini index, attitude towards income equality, religiosity, and conscientiousness), while two determinants exhibit attenuated impact on the SWB measures (relationship status and unemployment rate).
Keywords: Subjective well-being; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Economic crisis; Hedonic adaptation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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