Bjornskov, Christian and Dreher, Axel and Fischer, Justina AV and Schnellenbach, Jan (2009): On the relation between income inequality and happiness: Do fairness perceptions matter?
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In this paper, we revisit the association between happiness and inequality. We argue that the perceived fairness of the income generation process affects this association. Building on a two-period model of individual life-time utility maximization, we predict that persons with higher perceived fairness will experience higher levels of life-time utility and are less in favor of income redistribution. In societies with a high level of actual social mobility, income inequality is perceived more positively with increased expected fairness. The opposite is expected for countries with low actual social mobility, due to an increasing relevance of a disappointment effect resulting from unsuccessful individual investments. Using the World Values Survey data and a broad set of fairness measures, we find strong support for the negative (positive) association between fairness perceptions and the demand for more equal incomes (subjective well-being). We also find strong empirical support for the disappointment effect in low social mobility countries. In contrast, the results for high-mobility countries turn out to be ambiguous.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||On the relation between income inequality and happiness: Do fairness perceptions matter?|
|Keywords:||Happiness; life satisfaction; subjective well-being; inequality; income distribution; redistribution; political ideology; justice; fairness; World Values Survey|
|Subjects:||D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H40 - General
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J62 - Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
|Depositing User:||Justina AV Fischer|
|Date Deposited:||22. Dec 2009 07:14|
|Last Modified:||19. Feb 2013 01:01|
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