Book Chapter
Economic inequality and subjective wellbeing across the world

In this chapter the authors use repeated cross-section data from the Afrobarometer, Asianbarometer Latinobarometer, and Eurobarometer to analyse the variables that are correlated with current and future evaluations of standards of living. They consider resource comparisons and the normative evaluation of distribution (conditional on these gaps), given by the Gini coefficient.

The ‘typical’ pattern of a negative effect of gaps on the better-off but a positive effect of gaps on the worse-off is found only in Europe: gaps for the better-off in Africa and America have no correlation with current life evaluations and are associated with more positive expectations of the future. There is no positive estimated coefficient for gaps to the worse-off in Asia.

The Gini coefficient is negatively correlated with current life evaluation only in Asia. On the contrary, future life evaluations are more positive in more unequal countries in Africa and America.