Has Transition Improved Well-Being?

Posted: 28 Mar 2012

See all articles by Carola Gruen

Carola Gruen

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB); University of the Witwatersrand - School of Economics and Business Sciences

Stephan Klasen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: March 26, 2012

Abstract

In this paper we examine trends in economic well-being in transition countries from 1988-2008 to determine whether the populations of transition countries are better off today than prior to the transition process. To do this, we examine economic performance, inequality-adjusted well-being measures, subjective well-being measures, and non-income dimensions of well-being. While for many of the transition countries some indicators of well-being show improvements compared to the pre-transition period, the sharp rise in inequality and low levels of social indicators and subjective well-being suggest that well-being in many countries is similar to, or even below, the levels experienced prior to transition. The only indicators which have shown consistent improvements are measures of political and civil liberties.

Keywords: Transition economies, Well-being, Income inequality, Subjective welfare measures

JEL Classification: D6, O15, P27

Suggested Citation

Gruen, Carola and Klasen, Stephan, Has Transition Improved Well-Being? (March 26, 2012). Economic Systems, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2029071

Carola Gruen

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

University of the Witwatersrand - School of Economics and Business Sciences ( email )

Private Bag 3
P.O. Wits 2050
Johannesburg
South Africa

Stephan Klasen (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany
+49-551-397303 (Phone)
+49-551-397302 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/klasen.html

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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