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Making economic growth and well-being compatible: evidence from Japan

Francesco Sarracino, Kelsey O'Connor () and Hiroshi Ono ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Whether economic growth improves the human lot is a matter of conditions. We focus on Japan, a country where reforms in the mid-1990s shifted the country from a pattern of rampant economic growth and stagnant well-being, to one of modest growth and increasing well-being. We discuss the policy reforms and analyze the changes that explain the increase in well-being. In particular, we assess whether the factors that explain the increase are consistent with those expected from the reforms. We apply Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition to World Values Survey data. Results show that well-being increased due to improved conditions for elderly people, people with children, and women, in other words, the primary groups targeted by the reforms. We conclude that adopting a system of social safety nets contributes to make economic growth compatible with increasing well-being over time.

Keywords: Life satisfaction; Japan; inclusive growth; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; World Values Survey; social safety nets; welfare state (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D6 D60 I31 I38 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap
Date: 2019-03-28
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