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Building the Good Life: Growth, Reforms and Happiness in Transition

Peter Sanfey ()
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Peter Sanfey: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Chapter 24 in The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics, 2021, pp 617-633 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract This chapter charts the evolution of life satisfaction in former communist or socialist countries of central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the transition period. In the early years of transition, countries in this region typically clustered near the bottom of global happiness rankings. Over time, this “happiness gap” with other regions has steadily closed, once one allows for differences in income. However, a raw (unadjusted) happiness gap still remains between transition countries and advanced OECD members. Recent research points to a link between life satisfaction and some of the qualities that are needed for successful economies, such as good governance, environmentally friendly policies and measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups.

Keywords: Happiness; Transition; Life satisfaction; Reforms; Sustainable development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-50888-3_24

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