Tasting Freedom: Happiness, Religion and Economic Transition

LSE, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, CASE Paper No. 59

32 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2002

See all articles by Orsolya Lelkes

Orsolya Lelkes

European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

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Date Written: August 12, 2002

Abstract

Economic transition lowered happiness on average, but did not affect all equally. This paper uses Hungarian survey data to study the impact of religion and economic transition on happiness. Religious involvement contributes positively to individuals' self-reported well-being. Controlling for personal characteristics of the respondents, money is a less important source of happiness for the religious. The impact of economic transition has varied greatly across different groups. The main winners from increasing economic freedom were the entrepreneurs. The religious were little affected by the changes. This implies that greater ideological freedom, measured by a greater social role of churches, may not influence happiness per se.

Keywords: happiness, economic transition, religion, entrepreneurs

JEL Classification: Z12, P36

Suggested Citation

Lelkes, Orsolya, Tasting Freedom: Happiness, Religion and Economic Transition (August 12, 2002). LSE, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, CASE Paper No. 59, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=323140 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.323140

Orsolya Lelkes (Contact Author)

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