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Published in: Journal of Happiness Studies 1/2022

21-06-2021 | Research Paper

History Matters: Life Satisfaction in Transition Countries

Author: Vedran Recher

Published in: Journal of Happiness Studies | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

In this paper, we use the Life in Transition (LiTS) survey micro- data to estimate the gravity model of life satisfaction in seven post-transition countries. We use precise localization data and a very rich set of controls to estimate the effect of the duration of Ottoman rule on similarities in life satisfaction between pairs of primary sampling units. On average, being under the Ottoman rule for more than 100 years reduces the dissimilarity in life satisfaction between two primary sampling units. Further, we find that institutional heritage plays an important role in this interaction. Our results show that areas with a shared history of Ottoman rule are more similar in their institutional setting and life satisfaction. The results suggest that the analysis of life satisfaction in transition countries is often oversimplified by focusing on the transition process and ignoring potentially significant historical discontinuities.
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Footnotes
1
Karaman and Pamuk (2010) explain these arrangements in detail. They are based on individuals who pay the tax to the central administration in cash, in return for the right to farm the taxes in that region.
 
2
Detailed description of sampling methods, selection of primary sampling units, and households can be found at http://​litsonline-ebrd.​com/​methodology-annex/​.
 
3
The trade gravity model originally explains the strength of trade integration through common characteristics of trading partners and their proximity (Grosjean 2011).
 
4
To check if our arbitrary thresholds drive the results, we have estimated the same models with (i) the threshold of 84 years (first under 100), (ii) the threshold over of 111 years (first over 100), and (iii) the threshold of 200 years. We have also tried changing the other ’windows’ of Ottoman rule duration to 100-300, 300-500, and again the results were substantively the same.
 
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Metadata
Title
History Matters: Life Satisfaction in Transition Countries
Author
Vedran Recher
Publication date
21-06-2021
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Journal of Happiness Studies / Issue 1/2022
Print ISSN: 1389-4978
Electronic ISSN: 1573-7780
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00393-2

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