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Title: Economic transition and happiness and life satisfaction in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco
Authors: Djiar, Ikram
Advisors: Georgellis, Y
Rablen, M
Keywords: Reference income;Relative income;Comparison income;Subjective well-being;Middle East and North Africa
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: School of Social Sciences Theses
Abstract: The present research aims at examining the interaction between transition from centrally planned economies to market based economies and its subsequent effects on populations’ happiness and life satisfaction in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco. It also aims at advising policy makers on how economic policies may affect population’s subjective well-being. It is widely accepted that economic reforms affect individuals’ lives. In contrast, the populations’ values, attitudes and perceptions may also play a major role in the success of these reforms. The first study examines the determinants of happiness and life satisfaction by gender in Algeria and their attitudes and perceptions towards economic policies’ reforms. The survey reports that the female population in Algeria is happier and more satisfied with life than its male counterpart. It has been found that healthier individuals and those in the medium level of income are most likely to be happier and satisfied with their lives. Also, happiness is inversely “U-shaped” in age for the female population contradicting previous studies. Although, both genders believe that rapid market reforms do not have a negative impact on national stability, and are confident with the major companies, privatisation is found to be most likely having a negative effect on the life satisfaction among the male population. The second study examines the changes in the levels of life satisfaction in Egypt and Morocco over the first decade of the present century. It has been found that Egyptian women’ satisfaction with life is “U-shaped” in age, whereas in income that applies only to those at the medium, upper-medium and high levels of income. By contrast, Egyptian men are satisfied at all income levels. In Morocco, unemployed men and women are found to be satisfied with their lives in the beginning of the decade contradicting previous findings. While in the late 2000s, among the employed populations, females and males at the medium and the upper medium levels of income are satisfied, along with the lower level for women and the higher level for men. The third study examines the effect of relative income on individuals’ self-reported life satisfaction, assuming that the individual’s subjective judgement of his or her life satisfaction depends on both absolute and relative incomes. Absolute refers to the individual’s income, relative is the income of others around him or her called a reference group. The findings are that Algerians and Moroccans feel ambitious when self-reporting their levels of life satisfaction and referring their income to others’ income, but Egyptians feel jealous.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Economics and Finance
Dept of Economics and Finance Theses

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