Unhappy Development: Dissatisfaction with Life on the Eve of the Arab Spring

42 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016 Last revised: 27 Apr 2018

See all articles by Efstratia Arampatzi

Efstratia Arampatzi

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Martijn J. Burger

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Elena Ianchovichina

World Bank

Tina Röhricht

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization (EHERO)

Ruut Veenhoven

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization (EHERO)

Date Written: November 12, 2015

Abstract

Despite progress in economic and social development in the 2000s, there was an increasing dissatisfaction with life among the population of many developing Arab countries. At the end of the decade, these countries ranked among the least happy economies in the world?a situation that fits the so-called ?unhappy development? paradox. The paradox is defined as declining levels of happiness at a time of moderate-to-rapid economic development. This paper empirically tests the strength of association of a range of objective and subjective factors with life evaluation in the Middle East and North Africa region in the years immediately preceding the Arab Spring uprisings (2009?10). The findings suggest a significant, negative association between life satisfaction levels in the region during this period and each of the main perceived reasons for the 2011 uprisings?dissatisfaction with the standard of living, poor labor market conditions, and corruption.

Keywords: Labor Markets, Educational Sciences, Employment and Unemployment, Health Care Services Industry, Rural Labor Markets

Suggested Citation

Arampatzi, Efstratia and Burger, Martijn J. and Ianchovichina, Elena and Röhricht, Tina and Veenhoven, Ruut, Unhappy Development: Dissatisfaction with Life on the Eve of the Arab Spring (November 12, 2015). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7488. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2690017

Efstratia Arampatzi (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Martijn J. Burger

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Elena Ianchovichina

World Bank ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8910 (Phone)
202-522-1159 (Fax)

Tina Röhricht

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization (EHERO) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000
Netherlands

Ruut Veenhoven

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization (EHERO) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000
Netherlands

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