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Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification

Frijters, Paul; Haisken-DeNew, John P; Shields, Michael A

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This paper investigates the patterns and determinants of life satisfaction in Germany following reunification. We implement a new fixed-effect estimator for ordinal life satisfaction in the German Socio-Economic Panel and find negative effects on life satisfaction from being recently fired, losing a spouse through either death or separation, and time spent in hospital, while we find strong positive effects from income and marriage. Using a new causal decomposition technique, we find that East...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorFrijters, Paul
dc.contributor.authorHaisken-DeNew, John P
dc.contributor.authorShields, Michael A
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:43:56Z
dc.identifier.issn0022-166X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/79428
dc.description.abstractThis paper investigates the patterns and determinants of life satisfaction in Germany following reunification. We implement a new fixed-effect estimator for ordinal life satisfaction in the German Socio-Economic Panel and find negative effects on life satisfaction from being recently fired, losing a spouse through either death or separation, and time spent in hospital, while we find strong positive effects from income and marriage. Using a new causal decomposition technique, we find that East Germans experienced a continued improvement in life satisfaction to which increased household incomes contributed around 12 percent. Most of the improvement is explained by better average circumstances, such as greater political freedom. For West Germans, we find little change in average life satisfaction over this period.
dc.publisherUniversity of Wisconsin Press
dc.sourceJournal of Human Resources
dc.subjectKeywords: political change; quality of life; socioeconomic conditions; territorial reunification; Central Europe; Eurasia; Europe; Germany
dc.titleInvestigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume39
dc.date.issued2004
local.identifier.absfor140302 - Econometric and Statistical Methods
local.identifier.absfor140219 - Welfare Economics
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub7869
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationFrijters, Paul, College of Business and Economics, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationHaisken-DeNew, John P, Ruhr-University Bochum
local.contributor.affiliationShields, Michael A, University of Melbourne
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage649
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage674
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T10:15:12Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-4043070874
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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