EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Minding the Happiness Gap: Political Institutions and Perceived Quality of Life in Transition

Milena Nikolova ()

No 9484, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: 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 which accompanied the transition process, including deteriorating public goods, rising inequality, income volatility, stagnating labor market conditions, and changing norms. Yet, 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 in explaining this gap. My results imply that both macroeconomic factors and the rule of law explain the overall life satisfaction differential between the advanced and transition societies. The rule of law had an additional role of reducing the happiness gap in the 1990s and may have even reversed it in the post-crisis years. As institutions and macroeconomic 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: transition economies; institutions; subjective well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 E02 I31 P20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-hpe, nep-ltv, nep-mac and nep-tra
Date: 2015-11
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: European Journal of Political Economy [Online]

Downloads: (external link)
http://ftp.iza.org/dp9484.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Minding the happiness gap: Political institutions and perceived quality of life in transition (2016) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9484

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mark Fallak ().

 
Page updated 2019-04-24
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9484