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http://hdl.handle.net/10419/55851
  
Title:Well-being in Germany: What explains the regional variation? PDF Logo
Authors:Vatter, Johannes
Issue Date:2012
Series/Report no.:Diskussionsbeiträge / Forschungszentrum Generationenverträge der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg 50
Abstract:This paper examines regional differences in subjective well-being (SWB) in Germany. Inferential statistics indicate a diminishing but still significant gap between East andWest Germany, but also differing levels of SWB within both parts of Germany. The observed regional pattern of life satisfaction reflects macroeconomic fundamentals, where labour market conditions play a dominant role. Differing levels of GDP and economic growth have contributed rather indirectly to well-being such that the period since the reunification can be considered as a period of joyless growth. Moreover, the effects of unemployment and income differ in size between regions in such a way that one can assume increasing marginal disutility of unemployment. In total, approximately half of 'satisfaction gap' between East and West Germany can be attributed to differing macroeconomic conditions. In contrast, the comparably high levels of life satisfaction in Northern Germany are driven mostly by couples and go along with significantly higher fertility rates. Overall, I conclude that comparisons of SWB within a single country provide valid information.
Subjects:subjective well-being
regional disparities
unemployment
economic growth
fertility rate
JEL:R10
I31
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Diskussionsbeiträge des Forschungszentrums Generationenverträge, Universität Freiburg

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