Has Transition Improved Well-Being?
Posted: 28 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 26, 2012
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
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