International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Inequality and Happiness: People’s Attitudes towards Redistribution in Post-Socialist Russia and Hun

Hilal Galip, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences-Field IV: Attitude Formation, Value Change and International Communication, Jacobs University Bremen

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences-Field IV: Attitude Formation, Value Change and International Communication, Jacobs University Bremen
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

This paper aims at explaining how certain macro level social changes that come along with transition to market economy affected the life chances of individual citizens in Russia and Hungary and, in turn, their sense of well-being. More precisely the main focus is how people's evaluation of their lives has been shaped according to social and distributional consequences of the transformation. Thus, people’s perceptions of inequality and their attitudes towards redistribution in newly building capitalist societies will help to explain the link between the distribution of life chances and the individual life satisfaction. First, the paper will show the distribution of happiness among different social groups by describing their trajectories during the post-socialist period. Then the paper analyzes the effect of financial satisfaction on individual happiness from pre transition period until today for people who are part of different income groups, age cohorts, and occupational groups. Lastly, the effect of people’s attitudes towards redistribution, their perception of fairness and their attitudes towards economic and political transformation on their subjective well-being (SWB) will be examined. The analysis of the study is based on empirical data from the World Values Survey (WVS) and Life in Transition Survey (LITS) from 1982 to 2008.