CASE LSE RSS Email Twitter Facebook

Abstract for:

Tasting Freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition

Orsolya Lelkes,  August 2002
Paper No' CASE 059: Full paper (pdf)
Tags: employment and income; wealth and social mobility; wealth and assets; tax, benefits and pensions; taxation and economic policy; poverty, exclusion and equalities; equality, capabilities and human rights; health and social care; health; happiness; economic transition; religion; entrepreneurs


Economic transition lowered happiness on average, but did not affect all equally. This paper uses Hungarian survey data to study the impact of religion and economic transition on happiness. Religious involvement contributes positively to individuals┐ self-reported well-being. Controlling for personal characteristics of the respondents, money is a less important source of happiness for the religious. The impact of economic transition has varied greatly across different groups. The main winners from increasing economic freedom were the entrepreneurs. The religious were little affected by the changes. This implies that greater ideological freedom, measured by a greater social role of churches, may not influence happiness per se.

This paper has been published as:
'Tasting Freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition', Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 59: 173-194, 2006