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Policy or privacy - what matters most for individual well-being? Determinants of life satisfactions in the enlarged Europe

Politik und Privatleben - was beeinflusst das individuelle Wohlbefinden? Determinanten der Lebenszufriedenheit im erweiterten Europa
[working paper]

Böhnke, Petra

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Corporate Editor Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Abstract "Life satisfaction is quite heterogeneously distributed across countries of the enlarged European Union. Previous research has shown how living conditions within individual countries, such as access to material and emotional resources, are important for personal well-being, but it has neglected to explain differences between countries. This article investigates whether it also matters in which political, economic, and social circumstances people live, as well as whether their particular perception of the quality of their societal environment plays a role. People are well aware that the institutional and cultural settings in which their lives are embedded create opportunities and limitations: within individual countries, perceptions of society influence life satisfaction outcomes irrespective of access to resources. However, their importance for well-being differs across Europe: perceptions of society and material resources are highly decisive in countries which provide only a minimum of social security and in which the reliability of political institutions is poor. In rich and stable countries, the impact is weaker and private social support becomes more important. In addition to these country-specific weights of life satisfaction determinants, life satisfaction variations between countries can be explained to a large extent by taking into consideration the economic performance, the social security level, and the political culture in a country - all in all, general conditions that enable people to live a respectable life." (author's abstract)
Keywords EU; EU expansion; social integration; exclusion; living conditions; perception; satisfaction; well-being; confidence; international comparison; political culture; standard of living; politics; privacy; social security
Classification Population Studies, Sociology of Population; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Social Psychology
Method empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
City Berlin
Page/Pages 29 p.
Series Discussion Papers / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Forschungsschwerpunkt Arbeit, Sozialstruktur und Sozialstaat, Abteilung Ungleichheit und soziale Integration, 2007-203
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne