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Which Inequality Makes People Dissatisfied with Their Lives? Evidence of the Link Between Life Satisfaction and Inequalities

Laura Ravazzini () and Florian Chávez-Juárez ()
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Laura Ravazzini: University of Neuchatel
Florian Chávez-Juárez: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Florian Wendelspiess Chávez Juárez ()

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2018, vol. 137, issue 3, 1119-1143

Abstract: Abstract This paper aims at establishing a clear link between different types of inequality and life satisfaction in Europe. We analyse the relationship between life satisfaction and both income inequality and inequality of opportunity using seven waves of the European Social Survey. The results show that in Europe both income inequality and inequality of opportunity reduce people’s life satisfaction. Our main results suggest that all socio-economic groups are dissatisfied with income inequality, whereas primarily low socio-economic individuals worry about inequality of opportunity. We find that expected mobility is very important in explaining the link between inequality and life satisfaction for all socio-economic groups in Europe. We advance the hypothesis that life satisfaction is conditioned by a mix of normative arguments against inequality and by the fear/possibility to lose/gain a good social position. This result complements findings on the mediating role of social mobility in the relationship with subjective well-being.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; Income inequality; Inequality of opportunity; D31; I31; J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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