English title: GDP and life satisfaction in European countries – focus on transition

Author(s): Jiri Vecerník - Martina Mysíková -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2015


This article contributes to the debate about the impact of the transition on subjective well-being. After reviewing the relevant literature the authors draw on the surveys of the European Values Study of 1991, 1999 and 2008 to describe the trends in life satisfaction in 13 Western and 11 Eastern countries. The analysis finds that life satisfaction levels in transition countries have come to approach those in the West: the ‘rather unhappy’ 1990s were followed by the ‘rather happy’ 2000s. The strengthening correlation between life satisfaction and GDP reflects this process of convergence. The characteristics of respondents, however, are more important than the national GDP, and a regression of life satisfaction with basic demographic and stratification variables shows their reinforcing effect, especially in Eastern countries. The findings of other surveys reporting on developments of attitudes since 2008 vary but are far from proving a uniform negative impact of economic recession on life satisfaction.

Volume: 27

Issue: 2

From page no: 170

To page no: 187

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1080/14631377.2015.1026687

Journal: Post-Communist Economies

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