Life Satisfaction and Economic Conditions in East and West Germany Pre- and Post-Unification

44 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2008

See all articles by Richard A. Easterlin

Richard A. Easterlin

University of Southern California - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Anke C. Zimmermann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

Economic disruption in East Germany at the time of unification resulted in a noticeable drop in life satisfaction. By the late 1990s East Germany's life satisfaction had recovered to about its 1990 level, and its shortfall relative to West Germany was slightly less than that before unification. In West Germany life satisfaction was fairly constant before unification, but subsequently trended moderately downward, with Turkish life satisfaction declining noticeably relative to Germans. Changes in life satisfaction in East and West Germany both for Germans and foreigners are most closely associated with relative income variables, not absolute income.

Keywords: Life satisfaction, happiness, relative income, income satisfaction, transition economies

JEL Classification: D31, D60, I31, O52, P3

Suggested Citation

Easterlin, Richard A. and Zimmermann, Anke C., Life Satisfaction and Economic Conditions in East and West Germany Pre- and Post-Unification (April 1, 2008). SOEP Paper No. 95. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1118265 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1118265

Richard A. Easterlin (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Anke C. Zimmermann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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